After standing tall over Waco Lions Park and Kiddieland for more than five decades, the amusement park’s Super Slide is no more. The slide has been closed for about a decade, and any hope of a new beginning has been coming down with the old structure in the past few weeks.

“We had researched and tried to refurbish it over the last several years, but as soon as we started with the demo it was clear all the under-structure would have to be replaced,” park manager Linda Sirkel said. “I know a lot of people have memories here and memories on the Super Slide, but for safety issues we knew it had to come down.”

Sirkel, who took control of the park after her husband, C.C. Sirkel, died last fall, said insurance costs, liability concerns and finances prompted the slide’s closure about 10 years ago. The design of the large slide was unsafe by modern standards, and injury complaints and liability issues prompted the decision to permanently retire and disassemble the slide before the start of the 2018 season, Sirkel said.

Lifelong Waco resident Dianna Howle stopped by the park Friday afternoon with her 8-year-old granddaughter, Kyleigh Jo. Howle said she used to come to the park when she was a little girl and remembers racing down the slide sitting on a burlap sack.

“I was probably 4 or 5 years old when I first came here,” Howle said. “We used to ride and do the slide all the time. It was scary at first, but we got used to it.”

Lions Park slide

George Wetzel carries away a piece of the Super Slide. Safety issues meant the attraction had to come down.

Howle and her granddaughter walked into the park as employees cleared leaves and made the final touches to prepare for opening day Saturday.

Sirkel said Waco Founder Lions Club members are considering replacing the slide with another type of slide or possibly two, depending on prices and space needs. It is unclear when a replacement ride could be chosen and put in place.

“For a long time we’ve had grandparents who came as children and now bring their grandchildren,” Sirkel said. “Now we are having great-grandparents bring their great-grandkids here. That is the mission of the park, to have a safe, local gathering place for people to come and enjoy together.”

As the replacement could keep the memory of the Super Slide alive, Sirkel said she also hopes to keep the memory of her late husband alive at the park.

“C.C., even before he started working at the park, always wanted to have a teacup ride,” she said with a smile. “That is my goal — to someday have a teacup ride in honor of him.”

Lions Park slide

In this 2016 photo, the old Super Slide can be seen in the background as people board the park’s train.

Kristin Hoppa has been covering public safety and breaking news for the Tribune-Herald since January 2016. She worked in Northwest Missouri covering crime-related issues before her move to Central Texas. She is a University of Kansas graduate.

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