Big Float 9 brings thousands to Willamette River

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This is the 9th annual Big Float along the Willamette River

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — It’s time to sit back, relax and drift through the weekend from the comfort of an inflatable unicorn.

The Big Float is here!

An estimated 4000 people joined the flotilla that set sail after a Saturday morning parade in downtown Portland.

This marks the Big Float’s 9th year. Participants bob down the Willamette River in human-powered vessels — be it innertubes, kayaks or inflatable rafts.

The parade began at Tom McCall Waterfront Park and ended at Poet’s Beach under the Marquam Bridge where floaters got into the water and drifted back to the park.

Tickets cost $15 at the gate. Funds benefit the Human Access Project — a local nonprofit dedicated to helping people connect with the Willamette River.

As for concerns about the health of the water — organizers say there’s nothing to be worried about.

“The pollution has been reduced, it’s safe to swim in the river, and with weather like this — a weekend with good weather — it should be a good weekend,” said Roy Iwai, a volunteer board member with Human Access Project.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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