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2019 FIBArk Commodore Joel McBride, hands the First Beer of FIBArk to his wife Carrie, at the FIBArk Beer Garden in Riverside Park. The park will be at the center of musical entertainment throughout the weekend.

The first ceremonial beer of the FIBArk (short for First in Boating on the Arkansas) Festival was opened at 4 p.m. on Thursday, June 13 in the FIBArk beer garden located in Salida’s Riverside Park. Commodore Joel McBride and his wife, Carrie, were there to greet the beer garden guests and crack open the first official beer from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

The river might be running high, but the weather appears perfect for the weekend celebration of water and the outdoors. Kicking off the FIBArk festivities for the weekend, McBride handed his beer off to his wife and then turned to salute the crowd saying, “Let them in.”

The couple moved about the beer garden for a while as people came to greet the 2019 Commodore. “I actually no longer drink beer… I let my wife pick which beer she wanted,” said McBride.

McBride said he was excited about this weekend’s parade and events. He said he was preparing to take part in the Tenderfoot Mountain Hill Climb race that started later that evening, at 6 p.m., at 1st and F Street.

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For more about the schedule of events during FIBArk, go to