Enjoy live music performances, family entertainment and land activities in Centennial Park throughout each day, while thrilling — and occasionally silly — races take place nearby in the rapids of the Arkansas River and along the trails surrounding the park. Interested in participating in the festivities? Many events are free to enter, with nominal registration fees that vary for specific races. Learn more and register here.
Here are a few can't miss events at this year's Royal Gorge Whitewater Festival:
Friday, July 21
- 4:00 p.m. - River/Play Wave Demos
Show off your skills in this free-to-enter showcase of SUP, kayak, raft and duckie talents on the Centennial Park play wave.
- 5:00 p.m. - SUP Parade
Watch as standup paddle boarders of all ages and skill levels show off their skills as they navigate between two points (often in quite elaborate costumes).
- 5:15 p.m. - All Hands on Deck
If it floats, it'll be on the river. Watch — or join in — as locals float along the river on an assortment of vessels, from the traditional rafts and canoes to more obscure household items.
- 6:00 p.m. - Community Raft Race Auction & Time Trial
Bid on your expert rafting guide of choice, then join them in a race along the Arkansas River against the clock (and your fellow bidders).
- 6:00 p.m. - Royal Gorge Race Kayaks
Watch as expert kayakers take on over 12 miles of Royal Gorge rapids in this thrilling competition.
- 6:10 p.m. - Royal Gorge Race Rafts
Cheer on teams of six as they tackle the rapids with rafts in this race intended for experience rafters.
- 7:15 p.m. - Greater Canon City Floatie Rodeo
Select the floatation device of choice and attempt to complete the race as you outlast your opponents and avoid "dragons" that aim to tag rafters out of the competition.
Saturday, July 22
- 7:30 a.m. - Yoga at Veteran's Park
Center yourself on the second day of the festival with an invigorating yoga session at nearby Veteran's Park.
- 7:30 a.m. - 27k MTB Grinder
Experienced mountain bike riders will tackle a tough course in this race through the Cañon City countryside.
- 7:45 a.m. - 5K/10K Trail Run
Navigate the beautiful South Cañon Trails in these all ages races.
- 8:00 a.m. - USRA Regional Rafting Sprints
This straightforward race tasks rafters with getting from Point A to Point B as fast as they can.
- 9:30/45 a.m. - 10K/5K MTB Rides
Mountain bikers take to the surrounding trails for these more approachable
- 10:00 a.m. - Rafting Slalom
Competitors must navigate the river while passing through gates in order to emerge victorious in this race.
- 2:00 p.m. - Head 2 Head Races - Rafting, SUP, Kayak, Duckie & RMR Storm
Straightforward racing commences for an array of vessels, with tournament-style rounds depending upon the total number of participants.
- 3:00 p.m. - Weenie Dog Race
Easily one of the most adorable events of the entire weekend, watch as Dachsunds dash along a course while dressed in creative costumes.
- 5:00 p.m. - Surf Competition
Bring your boogie board or surf board and give it a go in the Arkansas River.
- 5:30 p.m. - Build Your Own Boat
Cheer on as would-be engineers take to the river in their — often hilarious — homemade contraptions. Winners of this fan favorite event will score a pure gold coin (a $,1000 value), with cash prizes going to 2nd and 3rd place finishes.
- 6:15 p.m. - Raft Rodeo
It's raft versus wave in this storied RGWF event that tasks rafters with "taming" the rapids of the Arkansas River.
- 8:00 p.m. - Awards & Auction
Congratulate this year's winners as they are presented with their awards and prizes in this special ceremony.
View the Full Schedule
View The Live Music Schedule