A 1,000-foot-long street slip-and-slide will stop in Kansas City on Aug. 6 if the permit process goes as planned.
The company behind the event, Utah-based Slide the City, announced its plans to bring its traveling slip-and-slide to Pershing Road near Crown Center. It will be Slide the City’s first visit to Kansas City.
John Malfatto, the co-founder of Slide the City and a Kansas City native, started the company in 2014. He wanted to bring the slip-and-slide to the area last year but wasn’t able to secure a permit in time.
This year, the company has yet to secure the necessary permits, but Malfatto said the city gave it the go-ahead to open registration and sell tickets.
Dave Steffano of Evenergy, an event planning firm, said companies normally promote events before they have the permits. Steffano works with KC Event Hub, which helps groups navigate the permitting process.
One difficulty Malfatto faced last year was finding an appropriate venue. This year, the slip-and-slide will start by Crown Center at East Pershing Road and East 25th Street and run down Pershing Road. One inch of foam cushions the slip-and-slide.
The event will last from noon to 7 p.m. Tickets, which give riders a time slot, are now on sale. Prices range from $10 to $99, depending on the number of rides and the perks you want. Each ticket package includes a mouthguard. Early bird registration ends June 10.
The 15,000 to 20,000 gallons of water will be provided by the city, but Steffano said he hasn’t heard the details on how the water will get to the slide.
The Kansas City event is one of four in the region scheduled for this summer. Slide the City will stop in St. Louis July 9–10; Springfield, Mo., July 16; and Wichita Aug. 20.
Steffano said the company has dealt with a handful of issues that Slide the City experienced last year in other cities. Riders complained of long wait times and injuries. Malfatto attributed a lot of the injuries to people not following the rules.
Slide the City requires participants to ride in an inflatable tube. They can also wear a helmet. Malfatto said they added an additional lane for single riders to make the slip-and-slide safer.
“It’s unique. That’s for sure,” Steffano said. “We are making sure they have addressed the issues.”
To help with the wait times, Malfatto said, the organization is using time slots or “wave times” to stagger the riders. Malfatto said he doesn’t want anyone to wait more than 20 minutes.
The wave times make sense to Steffano.
“You don’t want thousands of people waiting on hot pavement in the summer,” Steffano said.
Steffano said he talked to the company about his concerns and is optimistic for this year’s event. Slide the City is just starting their summer season, and Steffano said he will keep track of how it does.