'Urban Iditarod' keeps Portland weird

'Urban Iditarod' keeps Portland weird

PORTLAND, Ore. -- Barking humans dodging traffic, portable toilets filled with beer, and a thong-clad man donning a tuxedo shirt defiling a limousine.

Welcome to downtown Portland on Saturday, March 14.

Celebrating its 8th year, the 2009 Portland Urban Iditarod challenged teams to a pub-crawl around the Rose City.

Inspired by the legendary Alaskan Iditarod, teams consist of four human sled dogs and one musher leading a shopping cart sled. Speedos in Tuxedos, Pub Scouts and The Amazing Woman Gives Birth to Stallion were among the hundreds of themed teams participating in the event.

The festivities started at the Grand Café in Southeast Portland and moved to a series of bars including the Green Dragon, Rontoms Berbati’s Pan and Paddy’s.

While some participants were able to squeeze into the bars, the majority raged havoc on the streets outside.

Teams came prepared with their own activities. Team Double Dare initiated cabbage dodge ball and an egg toss competition during their physical challenges. Other sled dogs warmed up around the Pub Scouts campfire, barbequed hot dogs, or tried their luck at the blackjack sled.

The cops eventually corralled the overflowing masses along 2nd and Ankeny in Old Town. Thanks to the help of a volunteer traffic director in a furry pink hat, however, the event continued.