The 6-mile group paddle from Willamette Park to Tom McCall Waterfront Park and back, is open to anyone with a paddleboard and a witch costume. However, the group asks that only experienced paddleboarders take part in the event as the event will have no on-duty lifeguards.
“Get creative, go crazy, but remember you need to be able to paddle safely and sometimes certain pieces of our costumes can be a hindrance,” the event website states. “For your witch hat, we suggest you make sure you have a way to secure it to your head because if not, it will most likely fly off.”
The event begins at 11 a.m. at Willamette Park. There is no scheduled time for when the group paddle will end.
“Do as much or as little of the route as you feel comfortable with,” the event website reads. “Please stay out of the middle of the river and watch out for and yield to boats. We want to strive to stay on and ‘hug’ the land as much as we can on the west side of the river at all times in both directions.”
Recommended spots for viewing the event include the South Waterfront, Tilikum Bridge, Hawthorne Bridge and the East Bank Esplanade. Bystanders are asked not to watch the event at Willamette Park to save parking spaces for participants.
No payment is required to take part in the group paddle. However, this year’s event is raising money for Stumptown Strays. Participants must bring their own paddle board gear and safety equipment, including personal flotation devices, leashes and whistles. Oregon Waterway Permits are required for all paddleboards 10 feet or longer.
“Due to growing numbers each year, we’d prefer to keep this strictly a SUP event and not include kayaks, boats, canoes, [jet skis], etc.,” the event page reads. “Feel free to organize your own similar event with other types of watercrafts.”