Tracadie dad's super slide goes downhill after ice storm

Four winters in a row, a Tracadie-area man has built a snow slide for neighbourhood children — and it has just kept getting bigger.

Slide took 60 hours to build, fills the entire front yard, and just took a battering

Storm damages popular backyard attraction 0:42

Dino Albert is certainly in the running for Dad of the Year.

Four winters in a row, the Tracadie-area man has built a snow slide for neighbourhood children — and it has just kept getting bigger.

"It started for us — and then friends, and then friends of friends," he said Tuesday evening, as the entire neighbourhood played behind him, before freezing rain and ice pellets poured down on New Brunswick.  

Dino Albert built a slide almost as tall as his house in Saumarez, near Tracadie, for his three boys and the neighbourhood to enjoy. (Bridget Yard/CBC)

Albert, the father of three boys – four, 17, and 21 – starts construction as soon as there is enough snow on the ground, usually after Christmas.

"It took just around 60 hours, probably," he said of this year's incarnation, a massive snow slide dyed red and blue snaking around his front yard, complete with banked turns.

"It's all by hand. I use a snow blower, a leaf blower as well. Me and my wife."

Storm damage

The stairs for Dino Albert's super slide are shown before the ice storm, left, and then on Wednesday. (Submitted by Dino Albert)
But all that hard work was hard-hit by the ice storm that blew through the province Tuesday.

Albert said his slide is now covered in about two centimetres of ice.

"It's not quite good," he said. "It might be the end of it.

"All of the colour is fading out and there is snow and ice everywhere," said Albert.

"Maybe I'll be able to clean it up. We'll see when everything is cleared out."

Best in town

The slide, visible from the road, prompts stares and questions from adults and inspires adventure in children who live nearby.

"I like how it's big, and it's not small like the others," said 10-year-old Terry-Line Gaudreau.

"The first time I thought I would fall and I was scared."

After a few turns up the icy stairs and down the slide, Terry-Line said she conquered her fear and now looks forward to sliding most afternoons.

Dino Albert uses a special mix of water and bingo dabber fluid to keep the slide's colours vibrant. (Dino Albert)

"When you're at school you have a test and all that stuff. You have a little gift at the end. You come here and you have some fun," she said.

Secret colour mix

The vibrant blue and red of the slide took years to perfect. Albert and his wife have finally found the perfect formula to keep it looking fresh all winter long:

  1. Mix one bingo dabber (blue or red work best) with 2L of hot water
  2. Spray ice (takes two hours)
  3. Let sit to freeze
  4. Repeat 2-3 times
  5. Flood the slide one last time
  6. Enjoy!
Tracadie dad takes 60 hours to build massive slide that occupies the entire front yard and almost as tall as his house 1:43