BP Oil Spill Disaster a Common Theme of FIBArk Hooligan craft

The BP oil spill was a popular theme at this year’s Hooligan Race, a perennially popular feature of the Annual New Belgium Brewing FIBArk Whitewater Festival. It seemed as though at least one float in each heat of five Hooligan heats played off the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico which has captured the world’s attention as it grows in impact toward  becoming the worst man-caused environmental disaster in US history.

Unlike the the real BP tragedy in the Gulf of Mexico, this Hooligan interpretation of a flaming BP oil rig, shown above, extinguished itself in mere minutes. Thrilling spectators at the beginning of the course, the float pretty much disintigrated before it reached the main spectator zone where crowds lined both banks of the Arkansas River in downtown Salida for the perennially popular event. Nearly each heat of this year’s Hooligan race featured a BP disaster-themed float.The 62nd Annual New Belgium FIBArk Whitewater Festival, held June 17 – 20, is this small Colorado mountain town’s biggest annual event and one of the state’s oldest continuously held annual festivals. FIBArk, which stands for First in Boating the Arkansas, is the country’s oldest whitewater festival. It has expanded beyond downriver kayak races to include freestyle kayaks, rafts, stand up paddle boards and land-based events such as running and bike races plus free music in the bandshell in the town’s Riverside Park.

Pontoon bike at FIBArk Whitewater Festival Hooligan race in Salida, CO

Darren Droge of Lakewood, CO is seen here before he got fully dressed up and launched his craft for FIBArk's perennially popular Hooligan race. A first-timer at to the event, Droge won the crowd's Best in Show award.

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One Response to “BP Oil Spill Disaster a Common Theme of FIBArk Hooligan craft”

  1. Mary

    The burning BP oil rig came down in the end because gate number 5 was down. The craft in front was upside down and two hooligans grabbed hold of both #5 gate posts. This tugged the suspension cable down to almost water level. As the oil rig came under the cable, the flaming part just sheared off and extinguished in the water. Wow! No decapitations! Spectators on the south side of the river held the cable up until it could be disconnected and safely moved to the other side of the river. Thanks, Canyon Marine safety crew for all your help!

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