Put down your video game controllers and step away from your Mario Kart. The best way to race isn’t on a screen; it’s down an extinct cinder cone volcano in Southeast Portland. The annual PDX Adult Soapbox Derby, pits grown-up kids against each other, with each team designing and assembling their own downhill racers in pursuit of maximum speed or big laughs.
This race returns every August to Mt. Tabor Park, an extinct volcano that is now a forested urban park. Dozens of teams build cars to zip down the course, a great mix of curves and straightaways, lined with picnicking onlookers — many sipping cool brews in the designated beer garden.
Prizes for speed, engineering, fan favorites, and lifetime achievement are handed out to deserving daredevils, but the cheers may be more valuable than any award. Everything from streamlined, lacquered, wooden one-man bombers to fully-packed Scooby Doo Dream Machine doppelgängers zoom down the hill, making this a great day in the park for kids and the young at heart alike.
Every summer, thousands of cyclists cruise commando through Portland streets as part of the World Naked Bike Ride.
Every May, thousands of visitors flock to the city’s famous UFO Festival, featuring four days of parades, costume contests and expert speakers.
This annual race series consists of paddlers piloting a gaggle of gigantic gourds through a watercourse.
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