FT. COLLINS, Colo. (BRAIN) — New Belgium Brewing will bring its 15th annual Tour de Fat to 10 cities in 2014, starting in May in the nation's capital.
The events are free, day-long festivities with proceeds from beer sales going to local non-profits. Since its inception, Tour de Fat has raised more than $3 million, including $500,000 last year alone.
The events kick off with a costumed bicycle parade that winds through city streets, ending in a city park. Entertainment at the park includes musical acts, bike contests and even vaudeville-style acts. This year will also include some brewing education and feature a "Bicycle Revival" to inspire festival-goers to believe in the power of two-wheeled transportation.
"Here at New Belgium, we're all about giving people who love bikes (and those still warming up to bikes) a chance to get together in their local park," said Matt Kowal, New Belgium Brewing's Tour de Fat impresario. "It's such a fun day for so many different reasons – we not only bring people together, but also teach them about great beer, and how to make a difference in their community. And the fun part is you get to come as your alter ego. We all have regular jobs, but who are you at your core? This is the day to show up as that person. We say it every year, but if everyone's weird, then no one is weird!"
During each tour stop, New Belgium tries to leave as little of an environmental imprint as possible. Tour de Fat hosts green vendors, has compost and recycle stations and festival trucks that operate on biofuel sourced from recycled waste oils.
Last year, the Tempe, Ariz. Tour raised the most money (more $90,000) and New Belgium's hometown of Fort Collins, Colo., attracted the most parade riders and festival-goers, totaling 25,000 people.
Tour de Fat 2014:
- Washington, D.C. May 31 Yards Park
- Durham, NC June 21 Diamond View Park
- Chicago, IL July 12 Palmer Square
- Twin Cities, MN July 26 Loring Park
- Boise, ID August 16 Ann Morrison Park
- Fort Collins, CO August 30 Civic Center Park
- Denver, CO September 6 City Park
- San Francisco, CA September 13 Lindley Meadow - Golden Gate Park
- San Diego, CA September 27 Golden Hill Park
- Tempe, AZ October 4 Tempe Beach Park