SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Despite temperatures that climbed into the seventies Wednesday, remnants of the long, harsh winter stubbornly stick around in Sioux Falls. Most noticeably, the piles of snow at dump sites located around the city.

The snow pile south of the W.H. Lyon Fairgrounds could possibly still be around when crowds come to the fairgrounds to watch Fourth of July fireworks.

“Theoretically, we should be able to come out here on the 4th of July and have a snowball fight if we dig into the pile,” Street Maintenance Supervisor Daniel Whipple said.

This is the final resting place for massive amounts of snow that crews scooped off city streets over the winter. The street department estimates it once stood 100-feet high. Now it’s closer to seventy feet. We spotted a Christmas tree near the top of the pile. But that’s not the strangest relic from winter that’s emerged as the snow melts.

“We’ve found inlet lids, parking lot curbs, we’ve found a couple of water shut-offs. Whatever can fit in a blower in back of a truck, I’ve seen it,” equipment operator Ryan Soldatke said.

This big mound looks more like a pile of dirt than it does a pile of snow. That’s because city plows picked up a lot of debris making their way along the streets of Sioux Falls over the winter. And it’s that dark color that’s kind of slowing the evaporation process, even when temperatures are in the seventies.

“When it melts together, it forms kind of a little shell, it deflects the sun, so whenever there’s white spot, the sun hits it to melt it quicker and it hits that shell and it deflects that heat,” Soldatke said.

Filters near the snow pile will prevent that dirt and debris from making its way into the river.

“We have these things that are called horseshoe filters that actually filters out the materials before it gets down to the ditch and eventually to the river,” Whipple said.

Predictions vary within the street department as to just when all the snow will be gone. Some say July, others August; still others think September! Regardless of who’s right, the towering pile has more than a snowball’s chance of sticking around for most of the summer.

Sioux Falls had eight sites around the city to drop off snow. That’s about twice as many as a typical winter.

The street department expects this weekend’s forecast of rain should also help with the snowmelt.