HAGERSTOWN, MD >> It's wet, wild and wonderful and it's in the middle of downtown Hagerstown.

What is it? An 825-foot water slide, on Aug. 29 only, coursing down along West Washington Street, from Walnut and Prospects streets to University Plaza.

This is a great way to spend an end-of-August day, and the kids will love it. To find all the action, head to West Washington Street.

From 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., the busy downtown area will be turned into a water wonderland, accented by a variety of free activities for all ages.

Prepare to tap your toes to two live bluegrass bands, check out the food purveyors and a beer garden, browse the vendor fair and watch the young ones participate in entertaining activities.

Most of the activities, apart from the food and vendors, are free; the slide, however, does require tickets:

• For $30, you get unlimited slides during any 30-minute time period, which you may choose from noon to 4 p.m. Ticketholders also receive a free movie ticket from Leitersburg Cinemas, good through Sept. 30.

• For $40, you are entitled to unlimited slides during either of the first two 30-minute increments of the day (11 a.m.-11:30 or 11:30-noon), movie tickets, a T-shirt and a souvenir inner tube.

Tickets are available on the website at

• Single-slide tickets cost $8, good for one slide any time. These tickets will be available the day of the event.

Also, $5-off coupons for a variety of products from many area sponsors can be found in a number of promotional advertisements. Food trucks will offer irresistible edibles, and a seating area will be available.

Want music while you eat? Inside the beer garden in University Plaza, which opens at noon, The Plate Scrapers bluegrass band will perform at noon and The Woodshedders, an Americana group, at 2:15 p.m. You needn't buy drinks to enjoy the free music — walk on in!

The Downtown Summer Slide Festival is part of an effort by What's Next, a monthly publication of things that are happening in Hagerstown and surrounding areas, highlighting the center of the city and serving as a way to bring the community together.

"We've gotten much positive feedback that this type of event is something local families are seeking," said Melissa Fountain, director of events for What's NXT.

Greg Weaver, president of Antrim Way Honda, Greencastle, said: "There's something unique about being a part of the first annual Downtown Summer Slide Festival and the excitement it creates for the community." Antrim Way Honda is one of the event sponsors.

If you go

WHAT: Downtown Summer Slide Festival

WHEN: 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Aug. 29

WHERE: Downtown Hagerstown, Md.

COST: Street events are free; slide tickets $8 single, $30 for 30 minutes, $40 VIP with souvenirs

TICKETS: Buy slide tickets online at

DETAILS: 240-347-0465 or

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