FIBArk, America’s oldest whitewater festival, is the runner up paddling event for the Elevation Outdoors Magazine Best of the Rockies contest.

This year marks the 68th anniversary of the event and every June people gather in Salida to celebrate the summer and play in the spring runoff in the Arkansas River. This year, the event will be held June 16-19.

Located in downtown Salida, FIBArk is an exciting event that offers a broad range of competitions and activities. From the Downriver Race, one of the most iconic and most difficult river races in all of North America, to the Hooligan Race, an entertaining, one-of-a-kind river race, FIBArk has something for everyone.

The epic hooligan race. Photo courtesy FIBArk

The epic Hooligan Race. Photo courtesy Chris Miller Photography

Although FIBArk is under a paddling event in the Best of the Rockies contest, the event also offers live music and land events throughout the weekend. Land events include mountain bike races and running races that accommodate beginner levels to advanced levels. FIBArk even offers an event called the Chain Drain, and it is a disc golf tournament that takes place in neighboring Poncha Springs. The event is 18 holes and is open to all levels of experience.

The 2016 music line up will be released soon, however checking out last year’s bands indicate that the line up this year will be just as great. Last year, FIBArk featured bands like The Congress, The California Honeydrops, Honey Island Swamp Band and Zolopht.

Salida offers camping for visitors and competitors during the festival and campsites are located close to Salida. Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area Camping is partnered with FIBArk to offer free camping throughout the event, however there are no services at the rustic campsites. Another option for camping is Salida East, just a couple miles outside of Salida.

Salida landscape. Photo courtesy FIBArk

Salida landscape. Photo courtesy Chris Miller Photography

FIBArk is one of Colorado’s most iconic festivals and with the event falling on Father’s Day weekend this year, the trip to Salida is well worth it.

For more information about FIBArk and registration, visit