A stretch of a downtown Fredericksburg street will temporarily turn into a gigantic water slide Saturday.
SlideFXBG, which made a splash when it débuted last year, will return from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. at a new location. Urban Slide operator Kodiak Events will bring its three-lane, 1,000-foot slip-and-slide to William Street instead of Hanover Street. It will start a few feet below the intersection with College Avenue and end at the intersection with Sunken Road.
“The gradient on William is more consistent, and we wouldn’t be impacting any households given where the slide will start and end, hence the decision for the move,” said Clint Manning, Fredericksburg’s tourism product and event developer.
SlideFXBG is open to young and old, but sliders must be at least 40 inches tall and must use an inflatable tube. Tickets, which cost $27, are available at slidefxbg.com in two-hour blocks that begin at 11 a.m. No one will be able to enter the line for the slide after 6:45 p.m.
Check-in has been streamlined with the use of tablets this year, and will take place in the University of Mary Washington parking lot at the corner of William Street and Sunken Road. The tablets will be used to crosscheck the names of those who purchased tickets online, and to accept credit cards for anyone who wants to purchase a ticket in person that day. Cash won’t be accepted. Ticket holders will then receive wristbands to prove that they’re eligible to slide.
Manning said that the decision to use tablets has allowed them to increase the number of tickets available online from 1,200 to 1,400. Walk-up sales will be monitored to ensure the event isn’t overcrowded.
Shifflett’s Waste Services will park a truck near each end of the slide to block traffic, and volunteers from several University of Mary Washington athletic teams will help with set up, quality control, breakdown and cleanup. Fredericksburg’s Economic Development Authority will make a donation to UMW Athletics for their work.
Parking and port-a-potties will be available in the UMW lot at William Street and Sunken Road, and additional parking will be available at UMW’s lot near the Battleground Athletic Complex.
716 Slice, Kona Ice, Funnel Cake Café and Beach Fries will have their food trucks at the UMW parking lot at William Street and Sunken Avenue. Trinity Episcopal Church has rented its parking lots on William Street and College Avenue to the city for the daylong event, and will use the money to buy bottles of water that parishioners will handed out for free to participants.
Six local businesses have donated a total of $30,000 to cover the entire cost of this year’s event. Funds left over from last year’s ticket sales were used to pay for the inflatable tubes people will use on the slide this year.