Ben Lohr, a Colorado native, has always loved snow. Nothing delights him more. When he was offered the chance to bring the white stuff to sunny Southern California for the holidays, he grabbed it with both hands.
For the last few weeks, Lohr, a general manager at a company called Snow Bro, has been getting quite the workout transforming the parking lot at the Ventura County Fairgrounds into a winter wonderland called Snow N Glow.
"It's pretty intense, not going to lie," he said, trying to keep steady against the sheer force of the hose spouting out fresh-made snow. "You just don't realize how heavy snow is until you have to fire it out with your own arms."
It's a grueling gig, but the perks are enough to melt anyone's heart.
"The moment the kids come in, you see them all just romping and rolling in the snow, it just makes it all worth it," he said.
Beth and Matt Kovacs brought their 2-year-old twins Bennet and Cameron and their older sister Quinn to the snow.
"With COVID and the twins, travel has been difficult," Beth Kovacs said. "When we saw this, we thought it would be the perfect opportunity to show them a little bit of snow."
As a looming COVID winter surge threatens yet another holiday season, families are taking advantage of outdoor events. Snow N Glow features tubing, private igloos and more than a million sparkling lights.
It was the perfect excuse for the Kovacs family to forget about the pandemic.
"We have to make up for last year and the remote learning and just not being able to do anything. I mean, even Halloween last year was kind of canceled. So, we're going big," Beth Kovacs said.
The event runs through Dec. 26. A second location in Del Mar goes through Jan. 2.