If there's ever been an announcement which sunders the heart and mind in two, Slide the City's gigantic Slip 'N Slide planned to snake across Downtown's Olive Ave. on September 28th rates high. Described as "a family friendly slip-and-slide water party event,” attendees are being invited to revel in the cherished pastime of hurtling uncontrollably across a slippery-when-wet surface, but in this case, stretched out to the length of three football fields. That’s 1,000 ft. of water and soap lubricated vinyl to ride, slide, and glide by body or inner tube.  


Sounds unbelievably fun, right? Except the NPR-informed Debbie Downer in all of us then remembers we’re currently in a drought-induced state of emergency across California. [Cue: sad trombone.]

Vitiated by growing concern about the state's water resources (an online petition hoping to collect support in opposition of the event is nearing its 11,000 signature goal), Rick Orlov of the Los Angeles Daily News reports the San Diego-based Slide the City organizers were forced to offer a creative compromise, lest they’d be forced to cancel the festivities and lose out on collecting the $15/person entry fee from the estimated 4,000 attendees.

Organizers recently met with Los Angeles Councilman Jose Huizar and agreed in exchange for event approval, the McFarlane Promotions would collect and reuse the 15,000-20,000 gallons of (more than) gray water to hydrate Griffith Park at the conclusion of the day long event. Additionally, an undisclosed amount is being donated to generosity.org, a nonprofit focused on providing clean water in developing countries around the globe. The last hurdle remaining is approval from the LA’s Bureau of Street Services. 

But is it enough? On the surface the battle over the opportunity to ride a gigantic water slide during one of the hottest days of summer seems trivial. Yet, one just needs to look at a few before and after photos to realize water misuse is a slippery slope … or slide … to ride down without care. 

(Photos credit: McFarlane Promotions)

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