We're setting sail again! 




The Big Float 4

WHEN:     Sunday, July 27, 2014

                  11:00 am-1:00 pm on-site registration

                  1:00 am inner-tube parade starts

                  1:15 first group of tubers in the water

                  1:45 pm first band starts on barge


WHERE:   Willamette River (westside) Tom McCall Bowl - Waterfront Park, PDX, ORE


COST:       ONLY $5 (through July 20th) $9 after

WHO:        2,500+ floaters   1,000+ observers and after-partiers


WHY:         To give our river a hug


WHAT:       THE Portland summer celebration benefitting Human Access Project.



You must provide your own inner-tube and lifejacket.  Lifejackets are available through on line registration or on site for $8 (our cost).




Beach party here we come

We launch from Marquam Beach (same as last year) and take out at the Tom McCall Bowl – on the west bank of the river just south of the Hawthorne Bridge. That’s where we’ll gather after the float for Portland’s first downtown beach party – including a music barge and three bands. Revelers can recline in their watercraft on the river – or frolic on the beach or grass bowl.



The Big Float is open to all ages. All floaters must wear a life jacket. It's a safe voyage, not a race. Join the flotilla and attend the grandest pool party Portland has ever seen!


Come on in – the water’s fine!

Despite public perception (which we are trying to change), the Willamette River is approved for summer swimming, except in the now very rare instances when Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO) conditions are present.

With the Big Pipe project now complete, it’s expected that a CSO will occur only once every two summers (but very likely never again). You are more likely to see a whale swim up the Willamette than see a CSO in summer! Oregon DEQ states that when CSO conditions are not present, “the Willamette River is safe for swimming and other recreational uses.”


Questions? Click on the link below for official explanations of Willamette River water quality from the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), City of Portland Bureau of Environmental Services and City of Portland Office of Healthy Working Rivers.  Additionally visit the Bureau of Environmental Services Willamette River Water Quality Page to check in on weekly monitoring results at eight sites May-October.


What’s the BIG idea?

This fourth annual Willamette River event, benefitting the Human Access Project, is a celebration of our river – including the recreation it offers as well as the restoration it has undergone in recent years. The idea is to enjoy the river and also inspire positive aspirations for the river’s protection and improvement.

Contests, prizes and a parade

*  Portland Mercury Outlandish Watercraft Award   

*  KINK FM Best-of-Cruise Costume Award     

*  Paddlers parade - kayakers, canoeists, dragon boaters, crew teams, SUP’ers

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