FIBArk: The Nation's Oldest Whitewater Festival


The nation's oldest whitewater festival and Salida's signature event. Since 1949, every June during the Spring snow runoff, Salida has hosted FIBArk, "First in Boating on the Arkansas."


Every year in June during the Arkansas River runoff in Salida, Colorado, a festival occurs called FIBArk or “First In Boating the Arkansas.” The festival focuses on whitewater boat races and paddlers from around the nation and world come to compete. The town is consumed with FIBArk. Every person who lives in Salida is involved as a merchant, a volunteer, or a spectator and people who come from out of town fill Salida to the brim to witness one of the premier boat races in North America.

The FIBArk Youth Paddling Program is a successful instructional series which develops the next generation of paddlers beginning with safety, roll and stroke coaching. The current board of directors has placed a greater emphasis on continuing this popular and important part of the FIBArk mission.

The festival is presented by a group of dedicated people who volunteer their time to organize the event and annually A Board of Directors is chosen to plan, promote and present all the weekend activities. FIBArk would not be possible, however, without the support of literally hundreds of people in the community who help as event sponsors and volunteers. The FIBArk Board of Directors thanks everyone again for their contribution and support toward this wonderful whitewater festival.

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