If you are planning to go down Lee Boulevard in Richland on July 25, you’d better bring an inflatable tube and a swimsuit.
The street will be closed from Thayer to Stevens drive while thousands of people zoom down a 1,000-foot slip and slide, which will start at the crest of the hill, said Justin Brown, Richland’s recreation coordinator.
Richland is one of more than 175 cities across the U.S. and Canada planning to take part in Slide the City this summer.
“If everything goes as planned, we will be the first city in Washington to have this event,” Brown said, noting that Spokane and Seattle also are scheduled to participate in Slide the City later this summer.
The Salt Lake City-based company estimates 6,000 to 8,000 people will glide down the slide that’s the length of three football fields when it’s in Richland.
Company representatives could not be reached Thursday, but registration for the slide is expected to open soon on the event’s website, and people can now sign up to join a waiting list for more information.
Richland pursued bringing Slide the City to town, hoping it will attract people who also are going to Water Follies and Art in the Park the same weekend.
“Our intention is to complement those events, not take away from them,” Brown said.
The slide circulates 12,000 to 20,000 gallons of water a day, then treats it and returns it to the city water system, says the company’s website.
Richland gets all its city water from the Columbia River, which is not in a drought situation like the Yakima River, Brown said.
No Slide the City events are scheduled in California this year because of the ongoing drought there.
“Their water issues are obviously much worse than ours,” Brown said. “At the moment, we have no water concerns at all in the city of Richland.”
The slide, which was recently featured on NBC’s Today show, has a number of different prices, ranging from $13 for early-bird registration for a single ride to $60 for same-day registration for unlimited rides, according to its website.
Live music, as well as food and merchandise vendors, are expected. The merchandise tent will sell required inflatable tubes for those who forget to bring their own.
The slide company partners with a charity at each of its stops. In Richland, it will be the city’s parks department.
Slide the City donates money for each volunteer the city brings in to help run the event.
Brown hopes to raise $5,000 for the parks department, which would either go toward playground equipment or scholarships to help low-income children take part in parks department activities.
The section of Lee Boulevard with the slide will be closed to traffic from 4 a.m. to 11 p.m. that day.
To get on the waiting list, go to www.slidethe