Summer events feature Portland’s waterways

It’s finally summer! With the arrival of warmer and more pleasant weather, there’s no better excuse to spend some time in and around Portland’s waterways. Check out these two upcoming events, made possible by a few of the Port of Portland’s community partners. Both events will occur on Sunday, July 29.

The Columbia Slough Watershed Council’s eighteenth annual Columbia Slough Regatta will be held from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. The on-the-water festival is a leisurely group paddle along the slough’s gentle waters, suitable for beginners and experienced paddlers alike. Bring your own boat or take advantage of CSWC’s complimentary 45-minute canoe or kayak rental. Boats will depart from the St. Johns Boat Launch and head either to the Ramsey Wetlands area or east along Smith and Bybee wetlands. Besides great paddling opportunities, the event will offer community information tables, paddling safety information, face painting and food for purchase. CSWC suggests a $7 donation to help support their education, restoration and recreation programs within the watershed.


Photo courtesy of Columbia Slough Watershed Council

On the other side of town, head down to the Willamette River for the second annual Big Float, an event celebrating the river, its preservation and recreational opportunities. A westward parade across the Hawthorne Bridge begins at 12:30 p.m., followed by an approximately one-hour float across the river, landing on the east bank at Hawthorne Cove. Participants will be greeted with food carts, exhibits, sponsor booths, live music and beer once they reach the east shore of the river. A $5 registration fee covers event costs and extra proceeds will be donated to Willamette Riverkeeper. All floaters must have a floatation device and wear a life jacket, both of which can be purchased when you register online or at the event. Registration begins on-site at 10 a.m. or you may register online ahead of time.