Whitewater park near Siloam Springs opens this weekend

by Paul Gatling ([email protected]) 16,928 views 

The city of Siloam Springs and Oklahoma-based utility Grand River Dam Authority (GRDA) have announced the anticipated opening of WOKA Whitewater Park this weekend.

Operating hours are noon to 8 p.m. on Friday (Sept. 15) and 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Park officials said a formal grand opening at the park is planned for next spring.

According to a news release, free parking and limited concessions will be available this weekend, with equipment available for rent on a first-come, first-served basis. Whitewater-specific personal equipment is also welcome.

The 30-acre park is on the Illinois River about seven miles southwest of Siloam Springs near Watts, Okla. The state-of-the-art facility features a 1,200-foot-long channel with eight drop features to challenge all levels of kayakers, surfers and tubers. The park also features spectator seating.

Construction of the $33 million project broke ground three years ago. The Walton Family Foundation in Bentonville provided 95% of the funding.

“WOKA is a testament to the collaborative spirit of our community and the dedication of our partners,” said Dan Sullivan, GRDA president and chief executive officer. “This park will not only provide a heart-pounding adventure for watersport enthusiasts but also serve as a source of entertainment for spectators. We are immensely grateful for the historic gift generously given by the Walton Family Foundation, which has made this incredible experience possible.

“We are thrilled to offer WOKA as a major destination with a significant, positive economic impact for the region. WOKA will bring tourism dollars and quality of life enhancements to be enjoyed by all.”