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Art installation is a real slippery slope

By Western Daily Press  |  Posted: May 05, 2014

By Emma Grimshaw

  • Thousands gathered in Bristol's Park Street to watch people sliding down the hill on inflatable lilos. Joanne Finkel, 39, of Totterdown, was one of the first daredevils down the slide. She said: 'It was absolutely amazing.' Inset, bottom right: Janet James celebrates after plummeting down Park Street PICTURES: SIMON GALLOWAY

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It was Park Street as you have never seen it before. Instead of cars and cyclists, the road was covered with a huge bright blue slide – and hundreds of people throwing themselves down it on inflatable lilos.

And surrounding them there wasn't a spare inch of road or pavement, as thousands of spectators flocked to see the much-hyped spectacle.

The excitement around Bristol's 90-metre art installation has been building for months, with interest coming in from as far afield as Canada and Australia.

And the lucky 360 ticket holders, selected from just under 100,000 applicants, were not left disappointed.

One person per minute, between 11am and 5pm, plunged down the plastic sheets which were cushioned with hay bales on either side. The ride took around ten seconds from top to bottom with people travelling on silver lilos at speeds of around 15 miles per hour.

There was fancy dress in the form of Elvis Presley, sharks and a Spider-Man, and most people were left with foam-covered faces from the washing up liquid used to propel them down the slope.

As well as the clanging of cow bells, which were handed out to the audience, there was also dance music pumping out and huge cheers from the crowd.

Everyone hailed the event as one of the most unusual and entertaining ways to spend their Sunday.

Creator Luke Jerram, 39, worked around the clock to make park and slide event happen.

He said: "Bristol is my city and I have lived here for the last 15 years, I am not planning on going anywhere. There will be definitely other events like this in the future, this is what makes Bristol such a special place to be.

"To think 96,000 people applied for this, including people in Abu Dhabi, is breathtaking. It's fantastic that it all managed to come together. This is all about making people think about where they live."

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