PORTLAND, Maine — A Utah company is hoping to cordon off a Portland street to set up a 1,000-foot-long water slide this coming summer.
It’s something to look forward to as Maine gets hit with blizzard conditions Monday night into Tuesday, perhaps.
A representative of Slide the City and the spokeswoman for the city of Portland confirmed that the two sides are engaged in talks about which street and which dates would make the most sense for the event — in which a vinyl track as long as three football fields is rolled out, penned in by inflatable bumpers and wetted for sliding.
The end result is a long, urban version of the classic Slip N’ Slide.
Slide the City promotes its events as having a party atmosphere, where live music is playing and attendees are encouraged to bring water guns.
“We are still working with the city to solidify dates and locations and secure the necessary permits to hold the event in Portland, but we hope to come in the summer time,” Slide the City’s Tim Knapp told the Bangor Daily News in an email. “We are excited to bring our fun and unique event to the people of Portland, which is — in my opinion — home [of] the friendliest drivers in the good ol’ USA.”
City spokeswoman Jessica Grondin said the event would still need City Council approval if city officials and the company settle on a mutually agreeable date and location.
“We are working with the organizers, but we have not settled on a date or a location yet,” Grondin said. “We’re certainly excited about the possibility of bringing that here.”
Slide the City launched last year, according to a short profile in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, and will visit more than 150 cities this year.
The company also pledges to donate a portion of its proceeds to a local charity in each of the cities it visits.
For $25 the day of the event — discounts are offered on all entry packages for those who buy their tickets in advance — attendees get what’s called “single slider” admission, good for one trip down the slide, as well as a free water gun and mouth guard.
The “triple slider” option is good for three trips down the slide, adds a tube to the free gifts listed above and costs $40 the day of the event.
For the premium “VIP” price, participants get access to the slide an hour early and can stay an hour later, can slide as many times as they want, and get a T-shirt, hat and upgraded water gun added to their freebies. The top price for the “VIP” package is $60, although like the other packages, it can be purchased for less online in advance of the event.
The Slide the City website encourages participants to carpool or use public transportation to reach the site, acknowledging that parking will likely be tight because of the blocked-off street and that cars won’t be allowed close to the slide when it is in being set up and in use.
The company also requires sliders to use an inflatable tube to ride on for safety purposes.