Elysian Heights school to get a lesson in snow making *

Rain is in the forecast but snow – five tons of it – is expected Saturday (see date change below) in Elysian Heights. Parents and supporters of Elysian Heights Elementary School are holding a Snow Day fundraiser Saturday morning, complete with games, food and sled rides on a 50-foot long, snow-covered ramp. This snow does not fall from the sky, of course. It comes from Bellflower, where a company called Ice Man Inc. has manged to offset a seasonal decline for ice cubes by creating artificial winter wonderlands across Los Angeles. The snow is created on site where 300-pound slabs of ice trucked in from Bellflower are fed into a “tree chipper on steroids,” said Jeff Hendershot, president of the Ice Man. Ten seconds later, the giant ice cube has been transformed into “beautiful, flaky snow” that is sprayed out from the end of a hose.

Hendersot wouldn’t say what he charges over the phone but noted that the company has produced as much as 90 tons of snow for a single event (there is a 5 ton minimum). “Back East … everybody is paying to have snow removed,” said Hendershot, who has been in the snow making business for 15 years. “Here, in Southern California, [people] pay to have ice on their lawn.”

* Update: Snow Day has been rained out. The stormy forecast has prompted the Snow Day organizers to postpone the event until Saturday, March 6.

Photo of a previous snow event from Ice Man, Inc

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