fibark festival

Summer Festivals and Events in Salida, Colorado

Summer is one of our favorite times at Creekside Cabins. The property is at the height of beauty, with shady lawns and nooks by the creek making the perfect backdrop for your summertime adventure. Just as the trees are in full bloom, so are the opportunities for fun and adventure in Salida and Chaffee County. With festivals, music, events and more happening every weekend, there isn’t a bad week to visit. 

About Salida 

Salida, Colorado, a short drive from Creekside, is a tourist’s dream destination. The Arkansas River runs right through a charming downtown. Riverside Park is right downtown with easy access to shops and restaurants. The park has a bandshell, children’s playground and wide open lawn perfect for hosting festivals all summer long. 

Salida Whitewater River Festival–FIBArk 

fibark festival

The most well known event in Salida is definitely FIBArk. FIBArk stands for First in Boating, Arkansas River. It’s the oldest whitewater festival in the United States and 2023 is the 75th anniversary. The festival runs from Thursday, June 15th-Sunday, June 18th. This jam-packed weekend hosts kayak, SUP and raft races on the water, including the famous Hooligan Race on Saturday afternoon. 

FIBArk hosts a classic home town parade through the streets of downtown and music in Riverside Park all day, with well-known bands playing on Friday and Saturday nights. You’ll find local touches like a hill climb straight up the signature “S Mountain”, a full carnival set up and a crazy river dog competition.  This makes FIBArk the perfect blend between a small town festival and a big name whitewater event. Find schedules for music and events at  

If you’re looking for art events in Colorado this summer, Salida is a great place to be. It’s the home of some of the best, most creative art festivals in Colorado. 

Unique Colorado Summer Art Festivals 

ArtWalk has been a staple of the Salida art community for over 30 years. This colorful weekend takes the concept of a local art festival to the next level, with lots of small town touches that make it unique. Salida is an official Colorado Creative District. They were one of the first towns to receive the honor. 

ArtWalk showcases the spirit of that creativity with films, music, gallery walks and more. If you’re lucky, you might even get a glimpse of the famous Mud People. Not sure what that means? Come to ArtWalk. You’ll see how edgy touches make this a unique art experience. Find ArtWalk’s schedule of events and info at

Salida Riverside Art & Music Festival is a newer addition to the Chaffee County art scene. The festival is held in Riverside Park downtown on Saturday, July 15th from 10:00-6:00 and Sunday, July 16th from 10:00-4:00. Booths line the park offering everything from classic art and photography to mixed media, jewelry, ceramics and more. 

The artists you’ll find at Salida Riverside Art & Music Festival are a mix of local and visiting artists so there’s surely something for all art lovers. Musicians play onstage in the park as visitors stroll through the shady lawns browsing artwork and Creation Stations. Admission is free. Find more info at the Salida Chamber of Commerce website. 

Colorado Beer Festival–Brewer’s Rendezvous  

Another classic summertime event in Chaffee County is the 27th Annual Brewer’s Rendezvous in Riverside Park. This festival takes the concept of a beer fest and drops it next to a river in the shady park and adds live music. 

This favorite of the Colorado beer scene takes place July 8th with over 70 craft breweries in Colorado. Tickets are required for this popular event. For more information about the breweries and to purchase your passes, visit the Colorado Brewers Guild information page. 

Colorado Rodeo 

Another classic Colorado event, The Chaffee County Fair and Rodeo, takes place at the Chaffee County Fairgrounds. This festival features classic summer fun like tractor pulls, barrel racing and mutton busting for the kids. Add in some corn hole comps, pig catching rallies and hot dog eating competitions and it’s impossible not to feel the love in this classic celebration of Americana. 

4th of July in Salida, Colorado 

Salida wouldn’t be a small town gem without a solid 4th of July festival. They deliver the goods with a classic parade, impressive fireworks display over S Mountain in downtown and free music in the park. Look for other fun touches like chalk art demonstrations and a light up bike parade. And after the park, local bars offer live music into the summer night. 

Live Music in Salida, Colorado 

The good news about summer at the Creekside Chalets is that there is never a wrong time to visit. Sometimes there are festivals happening in town. However, if not, there are always events.  For example, you’ll find free music every Thursday night in Salida’s Riverside Park. Local acts play for free. 

Live music is abundant at the many local bars, breweries and restaurants. The local community radio station, KHEN, compiles a list of weekly live music. This reference helps the locals with their nightly plans. It also helps visitors navigate this vibrant music scene. 

No matter what you choose to do, you can’t go wrong with a summer trip to Creekside Chalets. We’re excited to share our shady creekside retreat and help you experience the fun local events. We love soaking in the summer fun of this incredible place and know you will, too.