Time to cool down ... Washington residents let loose with snowball fight on National Mall

America’s capital closes out eventful month with snowball fight on National Mall

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It has been an eventful month in the US capital, with a pandemic, a failed insurrection, an impeachment and a heavily militarised inauguration.

But residents of Washington DC are determined to end January on a high note.

Several hundred masked revellers staged a snowball fight on Sunday at the National Mall, in between the US Capitol and the Washington monument.

Two weeks ago, this area was inaccessible for President Joe Biden’s inauguration as more than 25,000 National Guard troops and a metal fence cordoned off the public’s access to the mall and most of downtown Washington.

There was no sign of the remaining troops who are due to stay in the city until the end of March, and the fence blocking off access to the mall has come down.

The festive atmosphere marked a welcome departure from the dark events of the past month, making it easy to forget that a violent mob marched down that very spot to storm the Capitol building weeks earlier.

The organiser, an informal Facebook group called the Washington DC Snowball Fight Association, has put together major snowball fights throughout the city in other years.

But Sunday’s storm was the first major snowfall in the capital in two years, allowing the group to again pop into action.

At the time of the fight, the mall was blanketed in an estimated five to eight centimetres of snow.

Weather forecasters predict that the total snowfall will range between 10cm and 20cm in the next two days, although it will probably fall on the lower end of that estimate.

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