Print Friendly, PDF & Email

FIBArk will return this year with some slight changes to allow for optimal fun and safety. The county’s historic river festival will take place over Father’s Day weekend, starting on Thursday June 17, and going until the 20th. The festival will be kicked off with the hillclimb and raft rodeo, both starting at 6:00 p.m. on June 17.

This year, due to COVID-19 precautions, FIBArk will host all of its regular events (except for the carnival and parade) to comply with social distancing guidance). Festival admission will be ticketed and will run from 12:00 noon to 8:00 p.m. in Riverside Park with music all day. Tickets cost 20 dollars per day for Chaffee County residents at the Salida Chamber of Commerce; cash only.

FIBark 2020 was pared down and sparsely attended due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Photo by Brooke Gilmore.

Tickets will also be available online for locals and people who live out of town, for 40 dollars per day. Sunday from 12:00 noon to 4:00 p.m. is free but will be ticketed to monitor crowd sizes, so those who wish to attend will need to pre-register.

Tickets go on sale May 17 and the musical line up will also be released around that time. Online tickets will go on sale May 24.

Registration for the river and land events is currently live. Click here to register.

The FIBArk board says that it is working with Chaffee County Public Health to make sure the event is as safe as possible. They will follow current guidelines in place during the time of the festival.

FIBArk has been an international event since the very beginning, drawing crowds of river enthusiasts to compete. This year, due to COVID-19, will be a more local affair. Photo of the Salida Whitewater Park courtesy of the Salida Regional Library System

The decision to ticket music in the park was made to help put a cap on the number of participants during the festival, raise money for future FIBArk years, and fund their nonprofit youth paddling program. In 2015, the nonprofit was created and allows all fourth graders at Longfellow to get onto the river and learn to kayak. Salida is the only community offering this type of programing in public schools.

“We are really focusing on this community and focusing on locals and having kind of a small local event,” said spokesperson Lindsay Sutton-Stephens.

“We’re trying to build back safely. It is still definitely a COVID world which is why a lot of these major events that we’re not exactly sure how to manage a carnival in COVID so we’re definitely trying to do things as safely as possible but bring back a semblance of what the festival was,” explained Sarah Briam.

Click here to view the full schedule of this year’s festival.