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Check Out These Colorado River Events! 

Posted: 06/01/2023
By: Kestrel Kunz

Put these events on your calendar this June because you won’t want to miss these fun river gatherings where you can meet up with American Whitewater staff! American Whitewater only has two Stewardship Program staff in Colorado and we love connecting with the river community whenever we can. Come find us at one of these river events to learn more about what we’re working on, become a member, and best of all have fun on the river with your friends. We have a packed schedule this month and we are excited to celebrate rivers with our partners across Colorado. 

June 3: Oh Be Joyful Steep Creek Race

Where: Oh Be Joyful Campground, Crested Butte, CO

What: The Oh Be Joyful Race is back for the third year in a row. The Class V kayak race takes place on Crested Butte’s steepest creek. The event benefits our local partners, High Country Conservation Advocates, and helps raise awareness about opportunities for protecting Crested Butte’s beloved watersheds. American Whitewater staff will be volunteering on the Safety Team and we will have a booth set up at the awards! 


June 15-18: FIBArk, “First in Boating on the Arkansas” Whitewater Festival 

Where: Salida, CO

What: Come join us at the 75th FIBArk Whitewater Festival in downtown Salida, CO. Every year, FIBArk raises money for the local community paddling program. FIBArk Youth Paddling Program offers youth paddlers, ages 6 – 15, opportunities to participate in whitewater kayaking and boating. Our mission is to make paddling accessible to all. We strive to create competent boaters, and life-long river stewards through professional paddle sports instruction, fun river events and on water team building. The Festival will have it all - from downriver races, kayak freestyle, music, and much more! Come visit with American Whitewater staff at our booth on the Boat Ramp all weekend. 


June 23: Taylor River Race

Where: Todd’s Slot River Access, Almont, CO

What: The Gunnison River Festival is hosting the annual downriver raft and kayak Taylor River Race on the Upper Taylor River. Come race against local American Whitewater staffer in the kayak class or just come and say hello! This event is part of a larger Summer event series put on by the Gunnison River Festival and in partnership with American Whitewater. 


June 24: Ridgway RiverFest

Where: Rollans Park, Ridgway, CO

What: The Ridgway RiverFest is a free, family-friendly celebration of the Uncompahgre River, our watershed and river recreation with all-age river races, live music, local food and drink, kids’ activities, watershed educational and cultural programs. The highlight of the day is the infamous “Junk of the Unc” race in which boaters maneuver their craft, constructed from scrap materials not intended for river travel, through whitewater rapids and others’ junk, trying to keep it all intact until the finish line. For 2023, the main music act is The Last Spike, a new-grass band from Montrose, CO. Come visit with American Whitewater staff at our outreach booth this year! 


Photo: Racers getting ready for the Upper Taylor Race, courtesy of the Gunnison River Festival 


Kestrel Kunz

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