Gates open at 10am to provide ample time to beat the crowds, inflate your innertube, check in valuables and maybe take a pre-dip in the river. 

It wouldn’t be a proper Portland celebration without a parade. We line up at Tom McCall Waterfront Bowl with everyone carrying their floats. Led by a marching band, we amble upstream along the Esplanade to the put-in at Poet’s Beach under Marquam Bridge.

1st wave parade: starts approx. 1:00 pm
2nd wave parade: starts approx. 2:30 pm

Floaters then paddle themselves out into the current and down the majestic Willamette River in the human-powered watercraft of their choice. Live music from our River Barge Stage will provide sound waves for floaters.

The Big Float is not a regatta or race. Take your time and make a second float if you wish.