Boise Festivals and Events

Tour de Fat - Beer, Bikes, and Utter Tomfoolery

Do you have a bike? Do you like to dress up in funny costumes? Do you like to listen to live music and drink tasty beer? If the answer to all or most of those questions is yes, then the Tour de Fat is the event for you.

If you've never experienced a Tour de Fat, just imagine what Halloween in summer would look like. That's about the best way to describe the Tour de Fat, which has passed through Boise the last few summers and makes a return appearance this August. What's so great about this event, you ask? I think it's the costumes, which are sometimes elaborate but always creative.

Imagine overweight 30-something dudes sporting pink angel wings and plenty of fatback. Now imagine the greatest collection of pirates ever assembled in a state that doesn't touch the ocean. Now imagine beer-drinking Mormon missionaries. You owe it to yourself to go down and take a look at what people come up with, because I guarantee that you'll see something you've never seen before. Juggling ninjas? Check. Batman putting down his beer only long enough to take off his tights? Check. The real mayor of Boise in drag? No check, but it wouldn't surprise me if it really happened one of these years. I hear Dave likes to party.

But this isn't just a large costume party. The Tour de Fat actually has a semi truck that hauls around a large stage from city to city. This stage is where you'll see live music by touring acts and lots of variety-show style performances by the Tour de Fat crew, who get plenty of opportunities to show off their musical and acting talents.

And we can't forget about the bikes. After all, the people at New Belgium Brewing love to remind us that this is a bike festival with beer. People are encouraged to ride their bike to the festival and put costumes on them as well. Most folks also participate in the morning bike parade that winds its way from Ann Morrison to Downtown Boise and back. In addition, to emphasize the whole environmentally friendly aspect of the festival and bikes, one lucky person gets to trade in his or her car for a brand new fancy bike. If you have a jalopy I'd advise entering the contest; otherwise, you might consider selling the Jag and buying about 2000 fancy bikes.

Seriously, this is a family-friendly event that is a lot of fun. The New Belgium Brewery has been successful at building a loyal fan base who appreciates the brewery's efforts to make great beer while getting involved in the community and being environmentally responsible. This quirky mini-festival is all about spreading a culture of folly, and we wholly approve. To make the event even more fun, put on a costume and decorate your bike. You'll fit right in.

If you're looking for more details, check out the Tour de Fat page on New Belgium's website. In the meantime, here's the general schedule of events, compliments of your pal Crandal:

9:00 a.m. - Bike Parade Registration
10:00 a.m. - Bike Parade
11:00 p.m. Performances Begin
1:30 p.m. - Funeral procession for the car belonging to the Car-for-Bike Trade volunteer
3:30 p.m. - Car-for-Bike Trade Celebration
4:00 p.m. - Curtain Closes

Event: Tour de Fat, brought to you by the New Belgium Brewery
Where: Bike parade around downtown, other events in Ann Morrison Park
When: Saturday, August 17, 2013
Cost: Free to get in and observe all the jocularity. A beer will cost you a fiver, but it's all donated to charity. So drink up and be merry.
Website: Tour de Fat overview
Tour de Fat Facebook page
Why I love it: Beer, bikes, and utter tomfoolery-- what's not to like?