Snow doesn’t come to New Orleans every year. The National Weather Service has records dating back to 1849, and besides the 17 “snow events” of lasting cover, there were 38 days when traces of the fluffy precipitation appeared, but didn’t linger.
The best year for snow was 1895; Feb. 14, and the next day Feb. 15, had the largest snowfall the city has seen: 8.2 inches. For those years when the weather doesn’t cooperate, New Orleanians have other options. Rodney Thoulion, executive director of Friends of City Park, points out that City Park in many years has had a snow day in the Dreyfous Meadow, in front of the New Orleans Museum of Art. “It turns the meadow into a winter wonderland filled with tons of snow generated from a machine. It’s really a treat for families.” Original sponsor for the event was Radiofone, no longer in existence.
Loyola’s University Programming Board puts on Sneaux @ Loyno every year, with snow pumped in for students to revel in before leaving for the holidays. And, there’s the annual “Miracle on Fulton Street” when Harrah’s casino activates a Snowmaster machine in the Fulton Street walkway that turns liquid soap into tiny snow-like bubbles. There is a 10-minute “snowfall” on the hour, between 5 p.m. and 11 p.m., beginning in late November and continuing until Jan. 2.
If you want your own snowy winter wonderland, get out your checkbook and call Pelican Ice and Cold Storage, Inc., (PelicanIce.com) at 602-0113. Pelican’s John Renaudin explains “We actually go out with a huge machine that breaks down 300 pound blocks of ice, and it blows it just about everywhere.” If you “friend” them on Facebook (Pelican Ice and Cold Storage) you’ll get a chance to enter one of their many contests. Pelican supplies the “snow” for events at both City Park and Loyola University. (Pelican is also the official ice of the New Orleans Saints.)