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How The Commonwealth Ave Snow Fort Created Community Cheer

From Left: Casey Foster, Michael Reber, Cruz Reber, Chaz Reber, Casen Reber, Brian Foster. (Photo: Courtesy of Brandy Reber)

ALEXANDRIA, VA–This week was a snowy one in Alexandria, and while the snow might be thawing now, you may have driven down Commonwealth Ave and seen the snow fort and its four snow guards. The creation of some neighborhood boys and their dads, the snow fort sits on Commonwealth Ave, between Rosemont Ave and Cedar St, and welcomes all.

On Monday, February 1, a trio of brothers, Chaz, Cruz, and Casen Reber, along with friend Casey Foster, began rolling snowballs for a neighborhood snowman. As the snowballs began to get bigger and heavier, they recruited the help of their dads, Michael Reber and Brian Foster.

This sparked in Michael a childhood memory when he and his siblings built a snow fort. After some reminiscing (and a little convincing), all boys were on board.

In 1985, Michael Reber (second from right, red hat, green jacket) and siblings built their own snow fort. (Photo: Courtesy of Michael and Brandy Reber)

The group started stacking snowballs higher and higher, until what they described as a “teepee” took shape.

The snow fort is tall enough for the boys to stand inside. (Photo: Courtesy of Brandy Reber)

The final snowball was placed on top of the “teepee” to seal the fort. An impressive structure, the snow fort stands about 7 feet high, with a small, kids-only opening in the front.

The dads help the boys put the final snowball on top of the snow fort. (Photo: Courtesy of Brandy Reber)

I spoke with Brandy Reber, wife of Michael and mother of the Reber boys, about witnessing this family fun.

She explains, “They were out there for about 3 hours rolling snowballs and constructing [the fort]. They were out there working hard the whole time.”

Brandy’s middle son, Cruz, exclaimed that his arms were sore at the end.

Cruz Reber rolls giant snow balls to help build the snow fort. (Photo: Courtesy of Brandy Reber)

All of Alexandria took advantage of the few snow days this week. Some even drove by to admire and play in the snow fort.

People in the community have come to snap pictures and play on the snow fort. (Photo: Courtesy of Brandy Reber)

Brandy says, “It’s been so fun and rewarding just watching out the window. Cars stop, people get out and take pictures, lots of kids climb on it, sit on it, get inside it. It really has just been so fun to see the people in the community enjoying it.”

Lucelle O’Flaherty, of Z-TV Live, (far right) interviews Brandy Reber, the Reber boys, and Casey Foster about their time building the snow fort. (Photo: Courtesy of Brandy Reber)

As spring approaches, the snow fort will melt, but the boys will have this memory forever, one they might even pass on to others. Maybe the snow fort will become an Alexandria tradition.

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One Comment

  1. Zebra!! Great article! I enjoyed reading it. I hope it’s a new tradition, we need more people rolling snow balls 🙂 What is not mentioned is ALL the people that yelled out, honked, held up traffic (because where do they have to be????), and just enjoyed the experience and kept us going.

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