About the event . . .

The Slalom on the Fourth inline skating slalom exhibition has been held on
Storrow Drive at the Massachusetts Avenue overpass for at least the last 18 years.
It has drawn international participation, been recognized on the Weather Channel
and in the Boston Globe.

It provides an opportunity

  • to demonstrate skate safety
  • to encourage healthy lifestyle, fitness
  • for an introduction to the sport of inline slalom (i.e. free skate lessons)
  • to entertain both patrons and workers alike during the long day leading up to the Pops and fireworks

Please find our event page on Facebook

For the event itself, two rows of 30 cones (5″x9″ plastic funnels) spaced 6′ apart are
set in the middle of each of the two right hand lanes of westbound Storrow Drive.
Total length is 174′. The lines of cones begin 6′-16′ beyond the exit ramp for Massachusetts Avenue.
Cone position is marked by a circle written with sidewalk chalk.

For rain or high heat conditions, two courses of 20 3″ high cones at a spacing of 0.5m-1.0m
will be set up directly under the Massachusetts Avenue bridge in the middle of the
same two right hand lanes. The additional reason for this location for this
type of slalom course is the road is flat here, required for this type of slalom.

The course set-up begins after 10am, finishing between 11a-11.30a. Setup involves marking
the top of the course, running a measuring tape the 174′ and marking the 6′ increments.
Next, the cones are placed at the marks and laterally aligned by eye to make as
straight a course as possible. Finally, the cones are marked (circumscribed) with
sidewalk chalk. The course is taken down (cones picked up) between 5p and 6p,
typically dictated by the amount of foot traffic across Storrow Drive.

During the event, inline skaters (and the one quad skater and skateboarder per year)
will travel through (weaving around) the cones down the hill. They wait in
line along the guardrail 20′-200′ from the top of the course before getting in
line at the middle of the lane they intend to skate down. The maneuvers around
the cones are on one or two feet, forward, backward and/or sideways.

Video examples of the tricks can be found at
These videos were taken with a personal point-and-shoot camera.

Backpacks and coolers of the participants are placed on the grass embankment between
Storrow Drive and the Massachusetts Avenue off-ramp. This is the same location
spectators may sit for the day to watch the slalom exhibition and then the fireworks.

Safety Concerns:

  • We make sure we are out of the way of event traffic, as well as alert passers-by to
    event traffic.
  • We take every precaution to avoid pedestrian traffic, including, but not limited to,
    audible warnings of approaching skaters, written signs alerting to cross traffic.
  • We do not block any access to the Massachusetts Avenue offramp, or to Storrow Drive beyond.
  • All participants are strongly encouraged to wear protective gear.
  • Many participants are First Aid certified and do carry first aid kits.

We have enjoyed the support of the State Police and the DCR for many years,
and have received feedback to that end.

We hope the event can continue for this and future years.

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