Medicine Hat Media

A Final Adieu to the Medicine Hat Riverside Water Slides

As my wife can attest, I am not one to get sentimental. Every house we have moved from, I shed not a tear. Each vehicle sold, I am more than happy to get rid of. Even tossing out that box of “art” from my kindergarten year(s), I did without a second thought.

But I am having a difficult time with the fact I will never have the enjoyment of sliding down the pigtail one more time.  Flying over the “Drop of Doom” as your stomach hit your throat.  Or floating down the lazy river on a tube with the sun beating on my back and my toes dragging in the water. Without a care in the world.

I remember going as a kid. Labour day weekend, the weekend when the slides would open every year. I would have a black X on my calendar marking the date.

We would arrive around 9:30am, slides open at 10. The lineup was all the way down those wooden stairs. After what seemed like forever, we entered the hallway were the cashier asked us for our right hand as she put an stamp on it. Not just any stamp, but a “magic” invisible stamp that could only been seen under a special light.

Then there was the floating tap, I must have stared at that thing forever the first time I seen it just trying to figure out how it works.

Was the mini-golf not one of the best courses you have ever putted? Seriously, any other course I go to now pales in comparison. The crickety windmill, the granary, the water running along side each hole… its still unmatched after all these years.

The go-carts were OK. Best when you went with a few buddies and did a little bumper cars, if the kid working wasn’t paying attention.

And topping the “best day ever”, we would get a waffle cone on the way out, meandering through the gift shop exhausted and sun burned from a full day.

Other memories:

  • The crazy brits. They were harmless, but you sure didn’t want to go in front of them.
  • Rumors.  Razorblades, people flying over the sides, more slides….etc, etc.
  • The cold showers before you ran out on the cool cement deck when you first arrived.
  • Remember that crazy circular thing you would be strapped into and spun all around?  What was that thing called again?
  • Night slides. Ooooh the night slides. enough said.

I don’t think its realistic that they will ever open again. Too much money will have to be sunk into it for a couple months of (lost) revenue each year. And as much as I would like the City to save it, it can not be justified.

If you were brought up in Medicine Hat, its no doubt a part of you too. What memories do you have?

User Comments

10 Responses to “A Final Adieu to the Medicine Hat Riverside Water Slides”

  1. June 28th, 2010 at 3:04 PM

    Vaughn says:

    Thanks Skeet for the great retrospective article.

  2. July 5th, 2010 at 11:00 PM

    Kaylin says:

    I will miss the slides. 🙁 I used to work the go-karts. Best ever was when it would start raining so we’d “have” to put the carts away with the track too wet. Of course, we’d have to drift around the track once or twice to make sure first.

    It’s too bad that this place got neglected to begin with. If it was maintained, and bands still came in, and the slides didn’t destroy your back, it could be profitable. And our youth would actually have somewhere to hang out.

    Sad indeed….

  3. August 5th, 2011 at 2:50 AM

    Dervil Bissima says:

    I lived in the hat in 1988, that summer i think i pretty much went to the slide everyday! there was the night slide that summer too. A couple years ago, i drove from calgary to med hat, hoping to check out the slide once again. When i got there, i saw it was all run down and closed which looked to have been for a long time! ( i even checked info online the day before i left. There was no indication that it was no longer operating!) I would suggest that the travel websites update their info. haha. Anyway, i wandered around the fence to the top of the hill and saw a hole cut into the fence, so i had to go in! I got some really cool pics of the slide that i once loved! (I can email them to you if you like. It was just really sad to see, and i have heard different stories why it closed. I would like to hear why it really shut down.

  4. August 6th, 2011 at 10:49 AM

    Vaughn says:

    Great story! Send the pictures to and I can post them!

  5. August 10th, 2011 at 4:01 PM

    brock says:

    Great article. I remember we would try to block the water at the top of the slide,so we could get more berm. What about that slide called “the intermediate”? That thing was nuts!

    Thanks for the trip down memory lane. Always a little bummed when I come back to the city and can’t get a waffle cone.

  6. August 15th, 2011 at 10:41 AM

    Skeet says:

    I would love to see those pictures! will you post them Vaughn if he sends them to you?

  7. August 18th, 2011 at 1:48 PM

    fran knight says:

    Just was checking out the times/prices for the water slides and am very disappointed they are closed. My in-laws live in the Hat and we took our kids there often when we went down to visit. It has been many years but we were hoping to go again this summer. Many happy memories of long, lazy days there. Its a shame places like this have to close, kids will definately miss out!

  8. August 19th, 2011 at 8:31 AM

    Vaughn says:

    If you didn’t already see them, here they are:

  9. August 29th, 2011 at 10:44 AM

    sandy040 says:

    I was one of those crazy brits, loved this place and have many many fond memories of days spent there

  10. November 13th, 2011 at 6:12 PM

    Tony Cox says:

    Another crazy Brit here. I was trying to show my daughter the slide which nearly cost me my life back in 1989. I can’t remember what they were called but there was two slides at one end of the park. A group of us were trying to outdo each other and I ended up going down the slide on two inflated inner tubes. I skimmed across the stopping pool without slowing down and smahed my face and chest off the metal railing at the end. I slid unconscious under the railing and into the kids pool on the other side. Some guy pulled me out and I was taken to hospital in an ambulance. Masses of stitches in the back of my head, my lower lip had to be reconstructed and I had no front teeth! Lucky though as if the bar had hit me slightly higher it would have got me right under the nose with much worse consequences. Didn’t put me off waterslides though as I visited the West Edmonton Mall before returning to the UK and had a great time on the slides there. Goiod times.

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