Cities across the United States are experiencing warmer winters this year, including Rexburg.

Rexburg’s weather data from February shows that the average daily temperatures doubled what they were in 2022 and 2023.

These warmer temperatures have caused some weather-based winter attractions to close for the season, such as The Ice Palace located in Rigby.

While Idaho may be adjusting to the warmer weather, the city has still experienced snowfall, even if it may be less than in previous years.

Snow-related activities drive people outside to build snowmen, ski and sled when it lingers around longer than a few days.

Snow has settled over BYU-Idaho's campus, causing many to reflect on the principles of city ordinance No. 369.

Snow has settled over BYU-Idaho's campus, causing many to reflect on the principles of city ordinance No. 369. Photo credit: Abbygail Hadlock

Another winter activity people engage in is making and throwing snowballs — an activity that could land them in trouble with local authorities.

Rexburg city ordinance No. 639 section 2A illegalizes throwing any object, including snowballs, when it injures someone or destroys property.

“It shall be unlawful for any person within the city limits of Rexburg, Idaho, to willfully or carelessly throw any stone, stick, snowball, egg, bomb, missile or other substance whereby any person is hit or any window broken or any property injured or destroyed,” according to section 2A of the ordinance.

The ordinance highlights the dangers of the use of any projectiles within city limits.

According to a 2015 article published in the Rexburg Standard Journal, Capt. Randy Lewis of the Rexburg Police Department wanted Rexburg residents to know that “throwing of snowballs isn’t illegal, it just requires a little restraint.”

It might be tempting to grab a handful of snow and make snowballs but think twice before throwing it at a friend.

It might be tempting to grab a handful of snow and make snowballs but think twice before throwing it at a friend. Photo credit: Abbygail Hadlock

Ambree Christensen, a long-term Rexburg resident and BYU-Idaho student studying secondary education, remembers hearing about this ordinance — nicknamed the “snowball ordinance” — in junior high and that snowball fights were illegal.

“The [ordinance was] implemented in the schools as well,” Christensen said. “We weren’t gonna get arrested if we [threw snowballs] at school, but it was not allowed. The school was very strict about that.”

The ordinance is still being enforced in Rexburg elementary schools, according to Christensen.

“I remember when I was substituting for a second-grade class, that was one of the things that they told me because it was wintertime we had to remind the students they can’t throw snowballs,” Christensen said.

But outside of the elementary and junior high, Christensen said a lot of people she knows who come to school at BYU-I do not know about the ordinance.

Olivia Guinn, a senior studying nursing, said that she has not heard of the ordinance at all since her time in Rexburg after moving from Washington.

“No, I never knew that it was illegal,” Guinn said.

Snow is a given in Rexburg but be careful when thinking about starting snowball fights — it could land in you legal trouble.

Snow is a given in Rexburg but be careful when thinking about starting snowball fights — it could land in you legal trouble. Photo credit: Abbygail Hadlock

Christensen has also not heard of the ordinance since she began college.

“I’ve been in college for five years now, and I haven’t heard about it here,” Christensen said. “We talked about it a little bit in grade school, but I don’t think it was ever brought up in high school.”

She said that while the idea behind the ordinance is good for people’s protection, she believes the ordinance highlighting the dangers of snowballs has lost relevance to the city’s older population.

“It’s irrelevant,” Christensen said. “I think this is the kind of rule that people have in like elementary schools and when they’re younger. The idea behind it is good for people’s safety, but I also think it’s lost relevance.”

Christensen remembers talking about the ordinance at first because it was an interesting law. However, people stopped talking about the law.

“I think it just doesn’t have an effect anymore,” Christensen said.