By Tim Mutrie
The 63rd annual FIBArk Whitewater Festival—billed as America’s oldest and boldest whitewater festival—is underway along the Arkansas River in Salida, Colo. With events on tap including a hooligan race, freestyle kayak competition, slalom, wildwater series, Pine Creek boatercross, raft rodeo and sprint, a SUP triple crown, five running races, a mountain biking race, hill climb, parade, chain drain, karaoke/talent content, crazy river dog and cruiser crit… well, there’s lots going on. There’s also free live music, food and vendor tents, and two national championship events (age-group slalom and wildwater).
"Also, the water's cranking, so we may have some record times in our wildwater and downriver races,” says FIBArk event coordinator Mark Krasnow yesterday of the 3,200 cfs flows.
The event typically draws 30,000 spectators and 1,000-athletes. “It's a festival at every corner,” says Krasnow. “We’ve got a big park with 10 free bands playing throughout the weekend, and then a lot of action at the boat ramp—and in the between the boat ramp and the park, it's just a big party. It's a full-on carnival with something for everybody.”
Stay tuned through the weekend for FIBArk updates here.