As It Happens

Boy, 9, convinces Colorado town to overturn ban on snowball fights

A nine-year-old Colorado boy gave a rousing speech to his town council on Monday night and convinced local lawmakers to unanimously change a century-old city bylaw.

'I wanted to throw them at my brother,' says Dane Best

Range View Elementary School Grade 3 student Dane Best throws the first 'legal' snowball in Severance, Colo., in the parking lot of the town hall on Monday. (Timothy Hurst/the Coloradoan via AP)


A nine-year-old Colorado boy gave a rousing speech to his town council on Monday and convinced local lawmakers to unanimously change a century-old rule banning snowball fights.

Immediately afterward, Dane Best took to the streets and lobbed the town's first "legal" snowball. 

"When they said that the snowball law was passed, everyone started clapping," Dane told As It Happens host Carol Off.

"It doesn't matter how old you are — you can change a law and have a voice in your town."

The rule in Severance, Colo., was part of an old ordinance which barred people from throwing "missiles" — including stones and snowballs — at people or property. 

"We went on a field trip to town hall and the mayor told us crazy laws and he told us that we can't throw snowballs in Severance," Dane said. 

Horrified to learn he'd been violating the rules for most of his young life, Dane made it his mission to scrap it from the books for good. 

'I'm not going stop until we get it passed"

On Monday night, he stood before a packed house at the town council, delivered a PowerPoint presentation on the benefits of snowball fights, and proudly declared: "The children of Severance want the opportunity to have a snowball fight like the rest of the world."

"He had confidence all the way through," his mom Brooke Best said. "He just told me, 'Mom, we're going to get this passed and I'm not going stop until we get it passed.'"

Dane presents his argument to town board trustees to change a law in Severance that bans snowball fights. (Timothy Hurst/the Coloradoan via AP)

With his mother whispering in his ear, Dane told As It Happens he was motivated by a civic duty to increase outdoor activity among local children.

"I wanted to get outside and I wanted kids to get off their Fortnite and go out and play," he said.

Next up: guinea pigs

But when pushed, the child's true motivation became clear.

"I wanted to throw them at my brother," he said.

Fortunately for Dane's four-year-old sibling, the weather has been unseasonably warm in Severance. The snowball Dane threw outside city hall had been saved for him by city staff.

Dane rubs elbows with lawmakers at a town council meeting Severance, Colo., on Monday, where he gave a presentation on the benefits of snowball fights. (Town of Severance)

While he waits for the right opportunity to strike, the precocious youngster has already got his eyes set on another town ordinance — one that defines pets as exclusively cats and dogs.

Dane, ever the rabble-rouser, has both a fish and a guinea pig. 

Written by Sheena Goodyear. Produced by Donya Ziaee.


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