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The Skanner News
Published: 06 September 2013

The first, the original quest to cross the Willamette River without money, motors or bridges

(unless you bring a boat or a hot air balloon, that means swimming!), the Portland Challenge returns after a six-year break – and the event is designed to benefit a grocery store in Tanzania.

While the wacky sports race is free, donations will be accepted to help launch "Nangu's Grocery," an income-generating gathering place and store in an underserved community in Babati, Tanzania. Proceeds will also help bring a unique theatrical production to Portland this fall: a rare stage adaptation of "Diary of a Madman," by Nikolai Gogol, starring Swiss actor/musician Miro Caltagirone.

While no longer the biggest swimming/floating/hand-holding-across-water event in Portland, the Portland Challenge was the first event in which Portlanders were dared to make intimate contact with their local waterway.

Registration begins at noon at the Slammer Tavern, 500 SE 8th Ave., and the journey to the river begins at 2 p.m. with river crossing 3 – 4 p.m.

After-party is at the Slammer Tavern from 4 – 7 p.m., with live music from Karaoke From Hell, Big Duck, Los Chinches (NYC) and Le Onde Del Cielo (Switzerland)

More information at the Official Portland Challenge website, www.portlandchallenge.blogspot.com/

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