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FIBArk 2021

Hundreds of athletes and spectators flock to FIBArk Whitewater Festival to mark the start of boating season


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FIBArk is the oldest whitewater festival in North America and Colorado's signature event. Every June since 1949 in Salida, Colorado, the spring snow melts and the beginning of whitewater season is marked by FIBArk, which means "First in Boating on the Arkansas".

Often called “America’s oldest and boldest whitewater festival” FIBArk attracts kayakers, stand-up paddlers and rafters to take part in competitions and have fun on the beautiful Arkansas River. Apart from athletic events, it showcases a variety of live music, costumed bike competitors, a parade and a foot race.

The FIBArk parade is one of the biggest highlights of the festival. It takes place along F Street at 10 a.m. on Saturday. Colorful floats and costumed folks from all over Colorado attract thousands of spectators to downtown Salida. Parade entries include horse-drawn wagons, monster trucks, bands and Hooligan” crafts”, that create a fun and festive atmosphere.

The FIBArk running events include The Hill Climb from the stoplight at 1st and F Streets to Tenderfoot (“S” Mountain) and back down. 5k and 10k races take place on Saturday morning, from the mesa near the County Courthouse. 10K Trail Run will take runners behind Tenderfoot Mountain on the new Arkansas Hills Trail System. There is also a Fun Run for kids.

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