Carnegie Science Center Celebrates Summer Solstice With Annual Snowball Launching Party

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Snowball Day is a start of summer tradition at the Carnegie Science Center.

It’s the day when the snowballs of winter are launched into the warming waters of the Ohio River.

“In the wintertime, we encourage people to save snowballs in their freezer and they bring them back on the first day of summer and they can name their own [admission] price. Then, they can launch them into the Ohio River,” said Brad Peroney, of the Carnegie Science Center.

We learn in elementary school that every snowflake’s different. But the same could be said of snowball launching tools.

“We’ve got some large slingshots. We’ve got some one-handed launching levers, and we’ve also got some other snowball launching toys here,” said Peroney. “And you can also experiment with the angle of the launch. So if you were to launch it straight up, it wouldn’t go very far, but if you do a 45-degree angle, that will achieve the maximum distance on your launch.”

The Science Center tradition began in 2006, and seems to get more popular each year.

“We had a mild winter this year, and so there were very few opportunities to actually get enough snow to make a snowball that you can save,” Peroney said. “So we’re not sure how that will affect our numbers this year. Last year, we had over 300 snowballs launched into the river, and we’re hoping to beat that this year, but the mild winter could be working against us.”

There’s a technique to making the perfect snowball.

“Make sure it’s not too powdery, and then make sure you have enough room in your freezer so you can store them all year,” said one participant.

“Just make them big,” another said.

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And if you missed this year’s snowball launch…

“Wait for the first snowfall of winter, and build your own snowball and save it up,” Peroney said.

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