For three Saturdays in August, one of New York’s busiest streets becomes car-free and turns into a seven-mile arcade of free activities from the Brooklyn Bridge to Central Park. And in recent years, the star attraction has been the giant water slide that loomed like the most impossible mirage in Foley Square — but not this year.

Part of Vita Coco Beach since 2015, which also included a sandbox with lawn chairs and hammocks, the three-story tall, 270-foot inflatable water slide drew crowds who lined up before Summer Streets officially opened at 7 a.m.

“In our 11 years, we’ve had the pleasure of partnering with many sponsors and hosting lots of different activations,” the Department of Transportation said in a statement to Metro. “While the slide activation is not sponsored this year, we do have full line up of other amazing programming.”

We reached out to Vita Coco but haven’t heard back. Maybe their summer advertising budget went to that three-day Instagram gallery in SoHo — because New York certainly doesn't have enough of those already.

 

But the show certainly goes on, and Summer Streets remains arguably the best way to spend the first three Saturdays in August. Any pedestrian who’s been honked at for daring to use a crosswalk or cyclists who have to weave into traffic because there’s a car parked in the bike lane will certainly enjoy having Park Avenue and Lafayette Street all to themselves, at any pace and any lane they like.

And that’s before you get into all the amazing attractions along the route. From 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Aug. 4, 11 and 18, there are hundreds of ways to enjoy the car-free fun, from rock climbing to a dog agility course, free fitness classes and even a Citi Bike Museum. Check out our guide to everything you need to know about Summer Streets 2018.

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