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Big block party on the BOLDERBoulder route started as a simple idea during the race

The iconic slip & slide along the BOLDERBoulder course.png
Posted at 10:52 AM, Apr 15, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-15 12:52:17-04

This story was originally published as part of Denver7's BOLDERBoulder coverage in 2019.

BOULDER, Colo. – Over the last 40 years, many of the people and places along the BOLDERBoulder course have become as iconic as the race itself, including the normal looking house on Cedar Street where Bryan and Cathy Fluegel live.

“By day we are a work-from-home couple,” Bryan said while describing their every day life. “Mild-mannered sales people, if you will. And once a year we throw a huge block party.”

That’s a block party attended by thousands. The Fluegels own the infamous "Slip-n-Slide" house. More than 5,000 BOLDERBoulder runners and walkers slide across the Fluegels lawn every Memorial Day while taking part in the race.

“To put it in perspective, you can look down the street … and the line to go on the ‘Slip-n-Slide’ is at least a block long. And sometimes it's two blocks long,” he said.

The idea for the entertainment on the front lawn was Cathy’s brainchild. She thought of it while running the race one year.

“There's a house down on 19th Street that had a little bit of a slope and people were going up into their yard and coming down the slope in the mud and it made me think, ‘OK, a slip and slide,’" she said. “We had one in the garage. We put it out. It lasted 20 minutes.”

They ultimately figured out if they wanted to make a slide strong enough to handle the thousands of people who stop by their house every Memorial Day, they would need to engineer it themselves. For the past few years that’s meant using an industrial vapor barrier that normally is used to go under the concrete in parking lots.

The party has become so large that the BOLDERBoulder delivers portable toilets to their street. A local company donates sound equipment for them to play music and Oskar Blues does their part to make the party memorable.

“They set up their big two-story Pale Ale can,” Cathy said. “They bring their beer and their koozies and hats and t-shirts and it's become where we have all of a sudden these de facto sponsors.”

If you can’t run this year, don’t worry, the party won’t be ending any time soon. Cathy and Bryan know their home is an important part of the BOLDERBoulder race culture.

“It's going to go on probably as long as we continue to live here in central Boulder,” Bryan added. “As long as the BB continues to run the race in front of the house.”