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The Big Float

The Big Float

The Big Float

The goal of The Big Float, quite simply, is to encourage people to “get into their river” and support its preservation and healthy development as a recreational resource. And to have a whale of a good time in the process.

The annual event is a fundraiser for the Human Access Project. Open to all ages, TBF begins with, naturally, a parade. Floaters gather at Tom McCall Bowl (where the Blues Festival is held), then carry or wear their floatation devices and march south along Waterfront Park to the put-in point at "Poet's Beach" beneath the Marquam Bridge.

Floaters will paddle down river and land on the west bank at the Tom McCall Bowl. Here, Portland's grandest downtown beach party will be held - complete with music barge and live bands, food carts, beer/wine garden, sponsor booths, and a kids' activities area.

WHEN: Saturday, July 14, 2018

11:00 am - 6:30 pm

7:30am – Noon: Beach Bash and Clean Up - participants receive free entry to TBF

11:00am: on site registration begins, pre ticket purchase entry begin

11:15am: Zephr, featuring Pete Krebs on Main Barge Stage

12:30pm: River Hugger Swim Team arrives to Kick off The Big Float

12:45pm: Syncrhronized Swim Performance by the Rose City Raindrops

1:00pm: First Inner Tube parade (meetup at the bottom of the bowl)

1:30-5pm: Mid-Float Floating Barge live music by Portland Perk! - in tube groovin'

2:00pm: B-Side Players on Main Barge Stage

3pm: Second Inner Tube parade (meetup at the bottom of the bowl)

4:15pm: Creative Float and Costume Contest, assemble at the Tom McCall Bowl Beach

4:20pm: Jerry Joseph and the Jackmormons on Main Barge Stage

4:30pm: Last call for floating at Poet's Beach (no more supervised floating on course route)

6:30: Wrap

WHERE: Tom McCall Bowl - Waterfront Park (SW Columbia & Naito)

COST: $5 through July 8th, $10 after, $15 day of event. Discounted pricing under age 18.

WHO: 3,000+ floaters + observers and after-partiers

WHY: To give our river a hug

WHAT: THE Portland summer celebration benefiting Human Access Project
This year featuring two 100-foot long Slip 'n Slides!
This year featuring two 100 foot long Slip and Slides!

Visit to learn more.