Inflatable Titanic Slide Causing Controversy
Lynchburg, VA - A Lynchburg pumpkin patch is getting a lot of attention for its inflatable slide for kids.
The 25 foot tall slide is not the problem - it's the tragedy it depicts. The slide on Smith's Pumpkin Patch on Fort Avenue represents the sinking of the Titanic, a horrible accident that killed more than 1,500 people.
Some locals really seem to have strong opinions about this one.
"I am extremely appalled. I am extremely offended that someone would put up something for children to play on that represents such tragedy," said Reverend Bryan Garra, a church pastor.
"This just isn't a big deal. The kids love it. If you don't like it, don't bring your kids here," said Marie Columna, a mother.
"I think it's encouraging disrespect and irreverence for the people who lost their lives in such a tragedy," said Kristin White, a Lynchburg resident.
"It wasn't to advertise death, it was to advertise something that happened 100 years ago and it's a really neat slide. The kids really enjoy it," said Lenaya Smith, the owner of the patch.
The controversy is over the slide that depicts the Titanic sinking.
"Why show something that is a depiction of human tragedy and death for children to play on," said Garra.
Garra says the slide has no business being here.
"I am encouraging my Facebook folks to boycott this business until that is removed."
Columna, who brought a 3-year-old son to play on the slide, doesn't see a problem.
"My first impression when I came is that it was just really awesome, it was something new that I just hadn't seen before here. My kids love it, they just love it. I think people are getting offended over something so little and they should really put their energy into things that really matter.
Smith wants to make it clear - it was not done in poor taste.
"We in no way wanted to be disrespectful at all to the Titanic or to what happened 100 years ago," she said.
At this point, management does not plan to take the slide down. They say they are not supporting what happened. They say it's the 100 year anniversary and felt it would be a fun new addition to their fleet of bounce slides.