Royal Gorge Whitewater Festival slated for Friday and Saturday

Photo via Royal Gorge Whitewater Festival
Photo via Royal Gorge Whitewater Festival

From The Pueblo Chieftain (Tracy Harmon):

Boat races, bounce houses, live music and plenty of refreshments are all in the lineup for this year’s Royal Gorge Whitewater Festival slated for Friday and Saturday.

Competitors will take on the waves of the Arkansas River to try everything from freestyle and downriver kayak, raft and paddle board races to inner tube and Build Your Own Boat races. For those who want to stay on dry land, competitions held in the Whitewater Kayak and Recreation Park section of the river are visible from Centennial Park and the Fourth Street pedestrian bridge.

Throughout the two-day event, live music will run on two stages. Performances are slated to kick off at 3 p.m. Friday at Centennial Park with the Polynesian- influenced alternative rock performer Kai’mi Hanano’eau of Hawaii.

In addition to dozens of water-related events, the festival will feature the Whitewater Adventure Race, or WAR, where runners get obstacles like a mud pit, ice bath, pipe crawl and other challenges thrown at them. A fun zone full of bounce houses for children, merchant and food vendors, a beer garden, yoga and a fly-casting competition will round out offerings.

Other stage performers will include the Eric Tessmer rock and blues band, the Judd Hoos country rock band, Colorado based reggae band Irie Still, country musicians Adam Ashley and Kinsey Sadler and Colorado Springs rock band Wrestle With Jimmy.

The festival favorite, the BYOB (Build Your Own Boat) Race, is slated for 5:15 p.m. Saturday and gives spectators the thrill of watching amateur watercraft builders and their crews take to the river in an all-out sprint for buoyant glory.

Admission to the festival is $5 per person. Cost for a fun zone wristband and all-day access to bounce houses is $10 per child.

For a complete schedule of events log on to

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