COEUR d’ALENE — Instead of the raucous singing of robins celebrating the advent of spring, a cacophony of squeals and laughter rang throughout McEuen Park.
And though the sun shined brightly on the Lake City, the chance of snow was 100 percent.
"It's the most fun I've had all winter," said Sadae Lortz of Kellogg.
It was mirthful chaos as at least 300 people of all ages took part in the Great Snowball Fight of 2019.
"It's pretty fun. Heads up!" said Patrick O'Dell, 16, of Coeur d'Alene, ducking as an incoming snowball whizzed overhead.
Patrick wore a "Space Jam" Bugs Bunny suit and his friend, 16-year-old Kobie DeLeonard, rocked a Chewbacca onesie as they lobbed snowballs across the neutral zone.
"It's really fun," he said. "I think it's a great thing for the community to go out and do. It's great that we have stuff like this in Coeur d'Alene."
Community members from all over took advantage of this lighthearted event, which was the brainchild of local businessman and winter enthusiast Dustin Ainsworth.
"Why not?" he said. "Go out and have some fun, have some laughs. Everyone's obviously got cabin fever. We all, I think, are a little fed up with this winter, so why not have a little send-off in North Idaho fashion?"
The fight lasted about 15 minutes. Participants chose a side and were instructed not to enter the neutral zone in the middle, requiring them to lob their snowy projectiles a good distance before striking their targets.
Many participants were sprinkled with green in preparation for the St. Patrick's Day Parade that took place on Sherman Avenue just after the snowball fight. The deep snow wasn't packed down in places, so it was quite a sight to see St. Paddy's revelers among people in shorts, sunglasses and winter wear tripping and sinking into the snow as they scooped and launched as fast as they could, laughing the entire time.
"Great!" said Gretchen Taylor, 7 of Coeur d'Alene, when asked what she thought of the snowball fight.
"Amazing!" said her friend, Poppy Hegsted, 7, of Coeur d'Alene.
Since North Idaho weather is unpredictable, Ainsworth said the next community snowball fight could fall in December, January or whenever next season allows.
It might even become a Lake City winter tradition, much like the beloved Polar Bear Plunge.