A 9-year-old boy has convinced the leaders of Severance, Colorado to overturn a nearly century-old ban on snowball fights — leaving his little brother to be quick on his toes as the first legal target.
Dane Best, who lives in the often snow-swept town just north of Windsor, presented his arguments at a town board meeting Monday night. Members voted unanimously to lift the ban.
“Today’s kids need reasons to play outside,” he told the town council. “Research suggests that a lack of exposure to the outdoors can lead to obesity, ADHD, anxiety and depression.”
Dane’s mother, Brooke Best, told The Greeley Tribune her son had been talking about snowballs since he found out about a month and a half ago that it was illegal to throw them within town limits. The last time it snowed, Dane said he and his friends looked around for police and joked about breaking the law.
Kyle Rietkerk, assistant to the Severance town administrator, said the rule was part of a larger ordinance that made it illegal to throw or shoot stones or missiles at people, animals, buildings, trees, any other public or private property or vehicles. Snowballs fell under the town’s definition of “missiles.”
“All of the kids always get blown away that it’s illegal to have snowball fights in Severance,” Rietkerk said before the meeting. “So, what ends up happening is (town leaders) always encourage the kids with, ‘You have the power you can change the law.’ No one has.”
Then Dane took up the cause, writing letters with his classmates in support of overturning the ban.
“I think it’s an outdated law,” Dane said in the lead-up to the meeting. “I want to be able to throw a snowball without getting in trouble.”
And after Monday night’s success, his 4-year-old brother Dax needed to watch out. When board members asked Dane during a meeting in November who he wants to hit, he pointed directly at his little brother.
To celebrate the board gives Dane his first LEGAL snowball to throw. Plus one for his little brother who is apparently Dane's first target. pic.twitter.com/1ePrg0wykq
— Xandra McMahon (@xanmcmahon) December 4, 2018
Dane and his family have researched other Severance ordinances, including one that defines pets only as cats and dogs.
Dane has a guinea pig, which is illegal in Severance, too.
CPR's Xandra McMahon contributed to this report.