On Sunday, July 10, Portlanders will gather for The Big Float, the parade, river float, and beach party in downtown Portland that benefits the Human Access Project (a local nonprofit dedicated to helping people connect with the Willamette River). It will be the final year of The Big Float, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary.
While this will the last Big Float, it promises to be one of the most spectacular. There will be a marching band, an innertube parade, and nine food carts (including Altengartz German Bratwurst, Taqueria la Merced, Bellagios Pizza, Bayou Bros, Alchemy Sandwich Co., Mobile Scoop Shop, and Kona Shaved Ice). There will also be a beach party at Tom McCall Bowl, where The Big Float starts.
The Human Access Project has long fought to destigmatize the Willamette after the completion of the Big Pipe project, which largely ended sewer overflow into the river. In 2014, the organization helped forge a path to Poet’s Beach under the Marquam Bridge, which is Portland’s first official beach and the launching point for The Big Float.
You can register for The Big Float here. Gates open at 10 am; innertube parade starts at 12:30 pm.