Published: 00:00, 30 July 2017
| Updated: 10:17, 30 July 2017
Nearly 200 people who won a ballot to go down a thrilling waterslide on Ramsgate seafront were left disappointed today when it was cancelled at the eleventh hour.
The Ramsgate Slide event was set to be a highlight of the town's summer festival but organisers were told at 11pm yesterday that it would not happen due to a financial dispute with the supplier.
A total of 5,000 people had entered the draw to fly down the giant chute today, including 40 children.
In a statement posted on its Facebook page today, Ramsgate Festival said: "We are devastated and so sorry to have to tell you that the Ramsgate Slide event won’t take place today."
Organisers said the suppliers had emailed them last night to say they would not be turning up because the full payment had not been made. But the festival insisted half had been paid and the rest could have been immediately transferred.
The statement added: "We have not been able to contact them since they sent that email last night and it is clear now they are not coming. This is a disaster for us. The point of the Ramsgate Slide was to bring joy and fun into the town.
"It was something different to draw attention to our fantastic harbour and seafront. The idea over 5,000 people entered the ballot to be able to slide and 180 lucky people were set to be able to slide today including more than 40 children, the Mayor of Ramsgate. It is heartbreaking that we have been so let down."
Adam Faulkner, of the suppliers Bloon, said today: "Despite several reminders for payment, Ramsgate Arts Festival failed to clear their final balance of their inflatable slide.
"This is against our terms and conditions of sale for bespoke items and left Bloon no choice but to refuse delivery."
Despite this, festival organisers have said they would try to put on the event at a future date.
"There were many people who simply didn’t believe that the relevant authorities would give us permission – but they did. The councils worked really hard to support us, local politicians of all political parties supported us, people gave to the kickstarter appeal for the Festival as a whole and we all worked together to make it happen - to lose all that because an external supplier let us all down has left us reeling," the statement added.
"We ask everyone to please to accept our apologies for the disappointment of today, to stick with us today and for the future."
They urged people to still come and enjoy the other events organised for the last day of the Festival included the World Rhythms stage, Vintage Market and Handmade Parade and the Seashore Safari. The day ends with the Dream Marine Twilight Parade and the Fire Finale.
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