This morning I awoke after nearly 10 hours of sleep (okay I was tired, my Kiwanis Slide shift yesterday tuckered me out more than I expected. But such is K-days and the fun of kids and adults enthusiastically conquering the stairs to slide down on the coffee sacks and run back to do it all over again. I still haven't slid down that slide yet this year but I have another couple of slide shifts before K-days is done so there's that.
I threw on a swim suit, a biking shirt (because I wanted a zippered pocket) and a wrap dress, grabbed my inner tube and mouthguard and walked down to Louise McKinney Riverfront Park for Slide the City. Slide the City seems to be an event coming to many cities across North America (and other iterations around the world) and it consists of a giant slip and slide that one gets to ride upon on an inner tube or another inflatable. The one in Edmonton is today and tomorrow and sold out remarkably quickly. There were three main purchase options: Single Slider, Triple Slider, and Super Slider (there were a few other options but these are the ones I know and understand best). Single Slider allowed for one single slide on the slide during your allotted time period. Triple slider provided three slides in that time period and Super Slider gave unlimited slides during a slightly longer time period. Triple slider also came with a drawsting bag, a temporary tattoo, a mouthguard, and an inner tube. I blew up my inner tube by mouth last night, but I could have paid $2 to have it blown up for me upon arrival on site.
The tickets themselves were kind of pricey but for a limited time only event like this one this doesn't seem unreasonable. That said the Canadian dollar isn't doing very well so the surprising fact that the tickets were charged in US dollars was not appreciated. Still, I think I got good value from the price I paid given the fact that I hadn't been on a slip-n-slide since I was a child (so probably like 20 years ago now).
The line wasn't terribly bad — it got better by the end of my sliding time (I was in the 10am-noon timeslot) because staff added some more tape preventing folks from changing lines, and making it more self-evident where to stand. Additionally there was music by a local radio station, EPCOR was handing out prizes and showering us with water from a watergun, there was free water from EPCOR, and you could spin a wheel for prizes (I didn't do most of these things because I didn't want to have to carry things around — I think the event would have benefited from lockers to store valuables nearby — a number of folks were carrying non-recommended items with them and that wasn't very strictly enforced). One of the often won prizes was a beach ball and so a number of these were being tossed about in the line as we waited.
When you got close enough to the front of the line, a security guard would mark (or cut off your bracelet) depending on how many rides you had paid for. Then there was a guy with a hose showering you with water as you prepared to slide. There were three lanes to choose from: Family, Group and Solo. I rode in the Group line for all three slides (even though I was by myself) as this line moved most quickly, it had the most space to spin/move around while sliding, and was the line I was directed to when I arrived. Unless you're with small children (or don't want to go fast/move around a lot), I think I would recommend this lane.
As for my three slides. The first one was the slowest — we were in the first wave of the day and so the slide wasn't as fast as it was likely to get later. But the folks in front of me got stuck and I ended up colliding with them. No injuries or anything thankfully. The second slide was quick and smooth. I spun a fair bit. The last slide was probably the fastest of my three. It was great: I was really zooming along until right near the end my ankle hit a barrier that was a bit bent up. This knocked off one of my water shoes, but I was eventually able to walk away without much trouble or anything (the lifeguard wasn't terribly helpful and I worry that that bent barrier will become a bigger hazard throughout the day but maybe they'll fix it?). They do have a couple of paramedics sitting on site but they didn't seem willing to get out of their vehicle unless someone was really injured — I was obviously okay and while I'm sure I'll be achy tomorrow from the unusual activity, I'll be fine as always.
I'm pretty thankful for the mouthguard (good idea!). Water shoes were a good call (either that or sandals that affix securely to one's feet!). I'm super glad I didn't bring anything that I didn't need. The weather couldn't have been any better for the event — much hotter and there would be more sunburns (I got a bit of a tan because I didn't bring extra sunscreen to reapply throughout the event, but no sunburns for me, thanks), colder and we would have been kind of miserable unless we all had wetsuits (unlikely). I kind of wish that they had enforced the rules that they had set regarding what to wear etc. more but that's the event organizers' thing. They had some food trucks for afterward and I was hungry so I ate a cheeseburger.
Probably my only real complaint about the event was the fact that someone was smoking pot in the path where people walked up to get back to the start of the slide. I had a hacking and wheezing fit for a while while I was trying to get away from the smoke and into the line again. This was unpleasant, but what could I really do about this? Nothing except what I did: get away from the smoke. At least walking up the path to the top of the hill was a nice gradual ascent and not steep stairs (not that I mind the Kiwanis slide stairs, but I certainly don't do those very often either).
I'm tired but happy. Riding the slide was exhilarating and well worth my time and money. Not something I would do very frequently, certainly, but it was fun! Most of the folks in line were really enthusiastic and looked to be having fun as well. I did recognize at least a couple of families in line and that was pretty neat in my books. I know that I know others who are sliding later today or tomorrow and I wish them all the best for an awesome time! If I owned a waterproof camera or phone it would have been nice to have some pictures of this day but I'm okay with just having had a great experience too! 🙂