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Valley Public Radio Staff
Sun May 4, 2014
Slipping Through The City: Bristol Turns Street Into A Water Slide
Originally published on Sun May 4, 2014 1:30 pm
Summer hasn't officially begun, but that isn't stopping the city of Bristol, England, from closing off traffic so people can ride a nearly 300-foot-long water slide down the street.
Called the Park and Slide, the one-day attraction is the work of artist Luke Jerram, who tells the BBC that he was inspired by old photos of children playing in city streets.
"If you look at photographs in the 1900s you see these beautiful empty streets with all the kids playing out," Jerram tells the BBC. "It's an extraordinary thing and all that has been taken away."
It returned today in Bristol, where the city's steep Park Street provided the venue for Sunday's event. Hundreds lined the course to watch.
More than 96,000 people entered a lottery for a chance to slip down the Park and Slide; only 360 got their wish. The slide uses a mixture of water and dish soap to give riders a bit more speed as they slide on an inflatable raft.
In case you're wondering what it costs to slide: The rides were free (and organizers promised to cancel any ticket found to have been sold). Built of hay bales and tarpaulins, the project received backing from an online funding drive after organizers rejected offers of corporate sponsorship.
Bristol plans to hold similar events on the first Sunday of every month this summer.