Sledding at breakneck speed down a snow-covered slope doesn't necessarily require an Eastern blizzard or a two-hour drive to the mountains.
All it took Saturday to transform an ordinary hill at San Pedro's Averill Park into a 20-foot-long tobogganing course was 3,300 pounds of store-bought snow, a few plastic sleds and more than 50 eager preschool youngsters. Snow Day, an annual event for the South Bay Pre-School of Lomita, features fathers and children slipping and shrieking in the fast-melting, manufactured snow.
"I like snow because it slides down and you can throw snowballs," explained a breathless Timothy Sirko, 4, after a dare-devil slide on his back down the steep course.
Timothy's enthusiasm outlasted that of his father, Jerry Sirko, who after half a dozen runs watched his son from the sidelines. "I haven't done this in about 19 years," Sirko said.
Al Rivali, who didn't sled at all, kept a watchful eye on his intrepid daughter Sarah, 4, as she took the hill alone. Sarah's one-word comment when she was done: "Fun."
A truck delivered the 66 bags of snow, each weighing 50 pounds and costing about $2.50, to the park at 8:30 a.m. Saturday, and the fathers fashioned it into a long, narrow run.
By day's end it was just a memory.