Jenny Foust, Tour D’ Fat, photos by Russ Lowthian (except top)
Don’t miss this day, Saturday, July 26, of crazy costumes and bikes, eclectic entertainment and New Belgium libations. It’s the best way to celebrate the summer, complete with costumes, bikes, music, performers, contests and beer.
New Belgium Brewing’s Tour de Fat is coming back to Loring Park, in Minneapolis, for another year of fun. The best part, the daylong event is free, yet all donations and proceeds from beer and merchandise sales go to Twin Cities-area non-profits. In total the 2013 season raised nearly $536,000, with the Minneapolis stop bringing in nearly $24,000. This year, all funds raised in Minneapolis will go to Midtown Greenway Coalition, Minnesota Off Road Cycling (MOCA) and Bicycle Alliance of Minnesota (BikeMN).
At Tour de Fat friends, family and neighbors are all invited to come enjoy eclectic entertainment, brewing education, a bicycle revival and even a fashion show of the best Tour de Fat costumes. In the afternoon, the stages heat up with acts like The Handsome Little Devils and Black Joe Lewis.
The event kicks off with a costumed bicycle parade that winds through city streets. The parade begins and ends in Loring Park where the rest of the day’s entertainment shines from musical acts to yo-yo performers, bike contests and even vaudeville acts. This year will also include some brewing education and feature a “Bicycle Revival” to inspire festivalgoers to believe in the power of two-wheeled transportation.
Throughout the day, kids of all ages can ride funky bikes in the bike corral, eat delicious fare, relax in the grass, and participate in games and activities such as a “Thousand Person Dance Contest,” which will determine the winner of a 2014 New Belgium Cruiser Bike. Everyone 21 and older can sample new and classic favorites from New Belgium, including the brewery’s flagship brew, Fat Tire, this summer’s seasonal, Summer Helles, the brand new year-round offering, Snapshot Wheat, and selections from the acclaimed Lips of Faith series.
“This is our 15th year of Tour de Fat and it’s been an incredible journey. This really is one of the best ways to spend a Saturday – there isn’t much that can beat the fun that comes with dressing up, riding a bike, drinking beer, listening to music and just having a great day with old and new friends,” said Matt Kowal, New Belgium Brewing’s Tour de Fat Impresario. “There really is no excuse not to experience the magic yourself!”
Car-for-Bike Swap Anyone?
This year, New Belgium will once again encourage one brave role model to step on stage to trade in his or her car keys and pledge to live car-free for one year. Each swapper is awarded a stipend to buy his or her own commuter bike. We’re now on the hunt for a swapper in Twin Cities. Car-for-Bike Swappers are chosen after submitting an application describing why they are ready to give up their vehicle for the gift of two wheels. To apply, visit: http://www.newbelgium.com/Events/tour-de-fat.aspx.
Tour de Fat Details:
Date: Saturday, July 26
Location: Loring Park
Registration: 10 a.m. Saturday
Ride Times: 11 a.m. to 12 noon.
12:00 p.m. — Fashion! (Best Costumes of the Tour de Fat)
12:20 p.m. — The Reals Band (https://www.facebook.com/therealsband)
1:20 p.m. — The Slow Ride Race
1:40 p.m. — The Handsome Little Devils (http://handsomelittledevils.com)
2:30 p.m. — Car for Bike Trade
2:45 p.m. —Yo-Yo People (http://www.yoyoshow.com)
3:35 p.m. — 1,000 Person Dance Contest – winner receives a New Belgium cruiser bike!
4:00 p.m. — Black Joe Lewis (http://www.blackjoelewis.com)
5:00 p.m. –– Finale
Midtown Greenway Coalition (http://midtowngreenway.org)
Minnesota Off Road Cycling – MOCA (http://www.mocatrails.org)
Bicycle Alliance of Minnesota (https://www.bikemn.org)
Admission – FREE!
Donations for non-profits are accepted
Beer – $5
You can pre-register and donate to receive a limited edition Tour de Fat license plate, bike light or sunglasses at http://bit.ly/TDF_TwinCities.
See https://www.facebook.com/TourDeFat?fref=ts for the Tour de Fat credo, schedules, videos and to submit an entry to swap your vehicle for a fancy new bicycle. For more on the Twin Cities stop, visit http://www.newbelgium.com/Events/tour-de-fat/minneapolis.aspx.
About New Belgium Brewing Company
New Belgium Brewing, makers of Fat Tire Amber Ale and a host of Belgian-inspired beers, is recognized as one of Outside Magazine’s Best Places to Work and one of the Wall Street Journal’s Best Small Businesses. The 100% employee-owned brewery is a Platinum-level Bicycle Friendly Business as designated by the League of American Bicyclists, and one of World Blu’s most democratic U.S. businesses, and a Certified B Corp. In addition to Fat Tire, New Belgium brews nine year-round beers; Ranger IPA, Rampant Imperial IPA, Shift Pale Lager, Snapshot Wheat, Sunshine Wheat, 1554 Black Lager, Blue Paddle Pilsener, Abbey Belgian Ale and Trippel. Learn more at www.newbelgium.com.