Thousands set to float the Willamette River for The Big Float - KPTV - FOX 12

Thousands set to float the Willamette River for The Big Float

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PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

Thousands of people are expected to hit the Willamette River in Portland Saturday for an event called The Big Float.

This is the seventh year for the event and organizers said they’ve had no problems or safety issues in the past. They’re hoping Saturday is the exact same.

Organizers said they could see up to 4,000 floaters this year.

The event is meant to encourage people to get in the river. But with many people floating, organizers said safety is their top priority.

“I think everybody has to wear a life jacket,” said Adam Kohn, who plans to attend the vent tomorrow. “I did read that online so that’s definitely the first thing that I’ll consider.”

Besides wearing life jackets, there’s a strict no alcohol policy.

All floaters will also be kept in a safety zone, away from boaters, that is marked with rope.

Plus, agencies from all over the metro will have crews out.

“People go and have a good time, enjoy the waterways in the Portland metro, but just do so safely,” said Sgt. Stephen Dangler with the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Officer River Patrol. “And again know your limitations, know your strength and weaknesses, and don’t go beyond that.”

For people going tomorrow, they hope to stay safe and also have fun.

“To be in the Portland sun, we only get three months of sun in the summer so this is a great way to enjoy it,” said Kohn.

Organizers also encourage people to bring lots of water and, of course, apply sunscreen.

For more information on the event, www.thebigfloat.com/about/what_is_the_big_float.

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