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This year's festival is proudly
brought to you by Amica's Pizza


Join in on the Festival fun! 2023 brings in a new event, Freestyle Throwdown, while all the classic FIBArk races like the Hooligan and Downriver races remain our most popular events.

Thank you to our Top Tier Sponsors

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Calling this a whitewater paddling event may be generous, but saying it is one of the most fun events of FIBArk would be right on. The Hooligan Race is open to anything that floats that’s not a boat. Hooligans dress up in costume and the winner is usually not just the fastest but often one of the few left standing, or, floating. This spectacle of “controlled chaos” is a local tradition that always produces a huge turnout. Don’t miss it!

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This is a must-see event as rafts will go head-to-head through the whitewater park in downtown Salida.  Each team will show off their speed and swiftness as they battle for the lead to cross the finish line first.

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Pine Creek Rapid is one of the most daunting rapids on the Arkansas River, rated Class V for the difficult maneuvers required to navigate the fast current and constant drops and holes.  The Pine Creek Race is an experts-only race, where paddlers navigate a giant slalom course through the rapid.  



During FIBArk weekend we will crown the overall top Man and Woman in the emerging sport of river stand up paddling. Stand Up Paddling or SUP originated in the coastal regions but for the last 7-8 years SUP has taken over the whitewater scene. Top athletes will compete in three disciplines competing for a cash purse.

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FIBArk’s signature event, the Classic Downriver Race is the longest, oldest, most prestigious and perhaps the toughest race in North America. The Downriver Race is truly an athletic marvel and continues to be one of the most respected (maybe even feared) whitewater races. 

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freestyle throwdown

The inaugural FIBArk Freestyle Throwdown contest was started locally for the Freestyle community. We want to come together, enjoy the wave, compete, and most of all support a great cause (The FIBArk Youth Paddling Program).

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SUP Boxing World Championships

A GIANT stand-up paddle board, oversized boxing gloves and a raging river, what’s not to love?!? Back again this year, the SUP BOXING WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS will be better than ever! Competitors will battle mid-river, trying to maintain their balance while doing their best to knock their competition into the river.

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Dogs and owners meet us at the boat ramp and listen to the PA. The exact location will be determined by water flow. This fun event celebrates our fearless, dedicated pooches as they retrieve items from the roaring Arkansas River. 

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With all the serious raft races out there today, we almost overlooked the lighter side of rafting. Not anymore. Be ready to put on a show and kick off the freestyle action at the Salida Whitewater Park. Prizes will be awarded for nothing but silly moves. 



Brought to FIBArk in the fifties, the Olympic sport of whitewater slalom racing requires paddlers to negotiate a series of gates suspended over the river through the Whitewater Park in downtown Salida. Whitewater slalom places a premium on technical skill as paddlers are timed and penalized for missing, or even touching a gate as they pass through. 

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surf competition

Come check out these amazing athletes as they surf river waves on their shortboards and body boards. Location to be determined based on water flows, Scout Wave (downriver from the F Street Bridge) or the office wave (upriver from the main play hole, in back of Absolute Bikes) *Water level dependent.

running races

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tenderfoot HILL CLIMB

This one-of-a-kind race is a signature kick-off to FIBArk events. Beginning at the stop light at 1st and F Streets, participants run and scramble straight up Tenderfoot (“S” Mountain) and back down. Believe it or not, the winners do it in less than 12 minutes! Prizes go to the top three male and female competitors, middle of the pack and the oldest runner. ALL participants qualify for bragging rights!

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The 10K trail run will take you behind Tenderfoot Mountain on the Arkansas Hills Trail System. The terrain is varied, including dirt roads and single track. The trail run is also the final of the Triple Crown Competition. Awards will be given to the top three male and female finishers. 

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5K & 10K

These two courses are on county roads, starting and finishing on the mesa near the County Courthouse. Awards will be given to the top three male and female competitors, as well as the top three male and female athletes in each category. 

fun for the whole family

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Located in Salida’s historic downtown, Riverside Park and amphitheater is the center of FIBArk activity and entertainment.  Enjoy 3 nights and 4 days of live music throughout the weekend right alongside the banks of the Arkansas River.  You won't want to miss this year's lineup!

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kid's oasis

We have decided to step up our kids oasis this year as a treat for adults and kids alike. Keep an ear out for all of the kid-centric specialties coming to the play-ground side of Riverside Park. We will update this site with tons of fun over the next few months.

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vendor village

If you were a fan of our long loved “vendor alley”, you will love our new “vendor village”.  Vendor village is being perfectly curated to fit the FIBArk vibe.  Keep an eye out on this site in the next month for a finalized vendor list.

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downtown bowl bash

Downtown Bowl Bash followed by an after-party at The 146 Taphouse.  Get excited watching a preview of visiting pros and masters skate the iconic downtown Salida Skatepark in anticipation of the inaugural Skate Competition at Centennial Park!  This will be an open skate demo. After party to follow with live music at The 146 Taphouse.


skate competition

Heart of the Rockies Rampage sponsored by World Cup Skateboarding, Friends of Salida Skateparks, City of Salida, and FIBArk.  This world class skateboarding competition will begin with groms and end with visiting pros from around the world competing for a purse prize.  Categories also include amateurs, women's, and master's divisions.

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