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A Colorado 'tube to work day' brings the traffic jam to the creek


This morning at 8, hundreds of people in Boulder, Colo., headed off to work in their inner tubes. It's the city's annual tube to work day. Colorado Public Radio's Jenna McMurtry was there today.


JEFF KAGAN: Today we create the world's greatest traffic jam.

JENNA MCMURTRY, BYLINE: Jeff Kagan organized the city's first tube to work day 15 years ago with a friend. It always begins with what he calls the creed. He's standing on a stage wearing a pink-sequined blazer.


KAGAN: A singular sort of congestion that unites us with our fellow commuter instead of enrages and divides. Today...

MCMURTRY: About 400 tubers await their turn to launch into Boulder Creek. It's a mile upstream from the heart of the city.


KAGAN: Today, my friends, we are tubing to work.

MCMURTRY: People are pumping up inflatable tubes. Rescue volunteers line the creek just in case.


KAGAN: Today, we will fill the foyers of various office buildings throughout the county with moistened business attire and deflated tubes.


MCMURTRY: Kagan's heard from other places looking to organize their own version of tube to work day. Boulder is the only one to make it an official annual event. He says he's proud of his city.


KAGAN: I know a lot of cities would see an event like this and say, nuh-uh (ph). Our city of Boulder does the opposite.

CARRIE DOYLE: I just tubed to work as a squid.

MCMURTRY: It's Carrie Doyle's fourth year. This year, she won the costume contest.

DOYLE: It's a squid hat. It's just an orange squid with eyes on the side and tentacles that hang down around my face.

MCMURTRY: Another woman, Kelly McBride, is dressed up like Wonder Woman. Normally, she wears scrubs to her nursing job. Her favorite part is the snacks volunteers supply.

KELLY MCBRIDE: They throw bacon down on fishing lines, and you have to grab it. It's so good. And like, probably five other people tried before you, so you've got hands all over the bacon. And it's wet, and it's cold.

MCMURTRY: She says she still eats the bacon anyway. It's kind of gross, but it's part of the fun.

For NPR News, I'm Jenna McMurtry. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by an NPR contractor. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.

Jenna McMurtry