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Oldsmar's slippery "snow" slope is a big draw for kids

From the top of the slide, Mike Curl positions the plastic covering as Orlando Fernandez, left, and Brian Smith secure it to the wooden platform, making it ready for “snow.”

City of Oldsmar

From the top of the slide, Mike Curl positions the plastic covering as Orlando Fernandez, left, and Brian Smith secure it to the wooden platform, making it ready for “snow.”

OLDSMAR — Oh, the weather outside is delightful — especially when you're planning a blizzard.

Today's forecast calls for highs in the mid 60s and lows in the low 40s.

That should put smiles on the faces of the snow sledders coming to R.E. Olds Park this evening from 6 to 9 p.m. to partake in the city's free Christmas Wonderland festival.

The big draw is the giant snow slope, where kids can toboggan down a wooden frame covered in 25 tons of the white stuff — shaved ice to be exact.

"The conditions this year are much better for the event," said Lynn Rives, the city's leisure services director. "We've had 80-degree temperatures in the past and the ice was melting all over the place."

Even then, children flocked to the snow slide, waiting in long lines over and over again for the chance to glide down the hill.

Tonight's wonderland event features music by the Bayside Church holiday jazz band, pictures with Mr. and Mrs. Claus, inflatables, food concessions and a snowball throw.

Oldsmar isn't the only locale in north Pinellas to import winter fun.

Two toboggan slides will be set up in the 500 and 600 blocks of Cleveland Street in Clearwater this evening from 5:30 to 10 p.m.

Next Saturday, a Snowfest takes place at the Safety Harbor baseball complex from 4 to 9 p.m.

"For most of the kids this is the only time they'll get to see and touch snow," Rives said. "It's amazing to see their faces and how much they enjoy this."

Terri Bryce Reeves can be reached at treeves@tampabay.rr.com.

. facts

Christmas Wonderland

When: Tonight, 6 to 9 p.m.

Where: R.E. Olds Park, 107 Shore Drive W, Oldsmar

Cost: Free admission and parking.

Oldsmar's slippery "snow" slope is a big draw for kids 12/02/10 [Last modified: Thursday, December 2, 2010 7:59pm]
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