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The Big Float is coming July 14. Join Portlanders as they cruise along downtown atop inner tubes.

COURTESY: THE HUMAN ACCESS PROJECT - The annual float down the Willamette River is coming up on Bastille Day. Want to take in a concert on Bastille Day from the comfort of an inner tube on the Willamette River?

This year's annual Big Float falls on the French national holiday, Saturday July 14, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Join thousands of people floating down the Willamette River en masse, and then joining a big after-party, featuring live music and other fun and games.

The event is a fundraiser for The Human Access Project, a nonprofit that is working to help open up the downtown Portland stretch of the river for swimming.

The float launches from Poet's Beach, on the west bank of the river under the Marquam Bridge, and the party floats down to Waterfront Park near the Hawthorne Bridge.

This year there'll be a Beach Bash and Clean Up from 7:30 a.m. to noon. Participants will get free admission to The Big Float. The cost is $5 for early-birders through July 8, $10 in advance after that and $15 the day of the event.

There'll be the traditional inner tube parade to put into the river. After the event, there'll be two floating stags, and two 100-foot lone slip and slides, plus grub from several food carts. Musical entertainment will be provided by Zephr, featuring Pete Krebs, at 11:15 a.m., the B-Side Players at 2 p.m. and Jerry Joseph and the Jackmormons at 4:20 p.m.

There'll be a synchronized swim performance at 12:45 p.m., and a creative float and costume contest.

Make sure to bring your life jacket; otherwise count on renting one for $10.

But there'll be a full crew of professionals and volunteers to make sure it's a safe event for the family.

For more information and to register in advance: http://thebigfloat.com

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971-204-7866

@SteveLaw/Trib

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