Will Slide the City return to Milwaukee next year?
Will Slide the City return to Milwaukee next year?

Was the giant slip 'n' slide a success?

It’s been a slippery slope, at times, for Slide the City – a traveling, 1,000-foot "slip ’n' slide" that was installed on the slope of Highland Avenue between 6th and 10th Streets for today only.

Early reviews of the Slide the City events reported long lines requiring up to three-hour waits and a dangerous lack of drinking water. Numerous other locations – including Racine – cancelled due to lack of ticket sales.

However, according to the Slide the City website, the Milwaukee event was sold out – as were events in four other cities – O’Fallon, Mo., Decatur, Ga., Oklahoma City. and Sylvan Lake, Alberta – that hosted the event today, too.

The Decatur event, however, was cut short because of a broken water main and will be rescheduled.

According to organizers, after early negative responses, practices were tweaked to improve Slide the City. In Milwaukee, they claimed to sell fewer tickets and assign specific time waves for sliders in order to spread out the crowd.

Ticket prices were $55 for the Super Slider / unlimited passes, $35 for three slides and $20 for a single slide.

By 2 p.m. however, lines were extraordinarily long – about two city blocks – and the wait time was at least an hour. However, spirits were high and people seemed to be patient and enjoying themselves.

Overall, as of 3 p.m. anyway, the event flowed pretty smoothly. Lines were long, but the number of working volunteers both on the slide and around it kept people moving and reasonably safe. I witnessed a couple of "pile ups" on the slide and people were instructed to jump out of the slide area immediately. They then got back on the slide with more distance between them. 

In places, the slide seemed a little deflated, but it was still fast and fun. Actually, it was faster than I expected. My sons, who wore the GoPro on their heads for the video below, were pleasantly surprised by the speed, as well.

Riders brought their own tubes or bought them on site, and could go down the slide either on their stomachs or sitting on the tubes. 

Is one slide worth $20 (less, of course, if you buy the multiple slide packages)? If you ask my sons, the answer is an enthusiastic yes. For me, I would say yes, too, but mostly because it was the chance to experience something pretty extraordinary – a busy Downtown street transformed into a water slide for a single day. And a rare hot, sunny day at that.

Take a trip down the slide:

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