FIBArk stands for "First in Boating the Arkansas" -- it's a festival that started in the 1950s. The history actually began in 1949 when two friends bet each other who'd win a race from Salida, CO to Cañon City, CO on the Arkansas River. Since that race almost killed both contestants in subsequent years the race was shortened to about 26 miles of whitewater from Salida, CO to Cotopaxi, CO. It became a community-wide festival that serves as homecoming from many who have moved away. Today the festival draws over 10,000 people yearly, around the 3rd week of June, and includes a variety of events on the river and in town.
Events and Entertainment
FIBArk features many events such as boating, music, attractions for children, and a small amount of shopping. Some bands from Salida's area perform on a local amphitheater. There are many boat races, including the Hooligan race, which is a race where people make boats out of anything they can find, and race them down the Arkansas. Some of them sink, some of them float, but everyone agrees that it's fun. The children's attractions feature inflatable slides and obstacle courses as well as one or two motorized rides. Some vendors in the area set up small stalls to sell their wares in the park that borders the Arkansas.
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