By JOE BERRELLAThe Washington Times – U.S. skaters and surfers are taking to the water for the first time in decades to celebrate the holiday season with a festive float through the streets of downtown Portland.
From Dec. 31 to Jan. 3, the Portland Skateboard and Surf Festival will offer a wide array of free skateboarding, surfing, kayaking, paddle boarding and other water activities throughout the city.
The festival is organized by the Portland Convention and Visitors Bureau, which is part of the U.A.E. and the Oregon Tourism Commission.
A few dozen skaters will be on the water at any given time and they will be able to board at a discounted rate.
They can rent a boat, which costs $1.50, or a float, which can cost $4.25.
Some participants are free to rent or sell the float.
The event will take place from Dec. 16 to Jan 2.
If you can’t make it out to the festival, there will be other activities at Portland’s water parks, including a boat show, surf lesson and paddle board tournament.
Portland’s public beaches will be open to the public on Dec. 30, and all beaches will reopen to the general public on Jan. 1.
The city’s parks are also opening for the holiday, including the Pearl District and Lake Oswego.
The Portland Skating and Surf festival was created by a group of surfers and skateboarders to encourage people to get outdoors, even for a holiday weekend.
The nonprofit group, which has been operating the event since 2007, said in a news release that it is the largest indoor event in the U of A.’s history.
The skateboarding event is one of the largest in the country, with more than 4,000 skaters from the UO, Oregon, Washington, Oregon State and the National Championship Skateboarding Association competing.
About 70 percent of the participants are UO students, with about 3,500 participating from Oregon and the UWA, with the remaining participants from other schools in the area.