PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — With inflatable rafts, life vests and just about anything one could float on, Portlanders jumped into the Willamette River on Sunday for the last Big Float event ever.

Swimmers and floaters began trickling in around 10 a.m. through the Tom McCall Waterfront Park downtown. Sunday’s last bash included an inner-tube parade, live music and the famous float.

Described on its website as a parade, float and beach party, the Human Access Project has organized the event every year as a way to fundraise and celebrate improvements made to the quality of the Willamette River water, taking 2020 and 2021 off due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Sunday’s event was the 10th annual Big Float — and the final one.

“After doing it for all this time, with all the work it’s taken to bring it back together, it’s really made me understand the length that we have in our lives and I’m really proud of what we’ve done,” Willie Levenson with the Human Access Project told KOIN 6 back in May.

The nonprofit’s goal is to connect Portlanders with their river “and perhaps even fall in love with it,” the website reads.

An organizer of the float said that putting on the event requires too much energy for their volunteer team to handle – and although many are sad to see it go – hundreds of people showed up to the Willamette River today to send off this tradition with a splash.

“It is a little bittersweet to have it today. A lot of art has gone into this. And a lot of people get joy from this event. But you know for us, we really feel like what this event set out to do has been done,” said Willie Levenson, the ringleader of the event.

Run by volunteers, the Human Access Project has accomplished big goals in the last 12 years. Some highlights Levenson mentioned include placing “Swim at your own risk” signs around the Willamette River, pushing to open Poet’s Beach, removing trash from Audrey McCall Beach, and converting the Kevin J. Duckworth Memorial Dock from a motorized dock to a motorized-boats only dock to a swimming hole dock.

While Levenson believes there is still more work to do, he says that the Human Access Project is in the process of coming up with other fun and innovative ways to help connect the people of Portland to the river.

KOIN 6 News’ Amanda Arden contributed to this article.