A Tempe Tradition is returning for another unforgettable event filled with bicycling, live music, and carnival craziness!
New Belgium Brewing’s Tour de Fat will take over the town on Saturday, October 7 for a great cause. Guests have the annual bike parade and a live musical performance from Michael Franti & Spearhead to look forward to, along with plenty of funky, funny contest and delicious beer. All proceeds from tickets benefit Tempe Bicycle Action Group, Bicycle Saviours, Central Arizona Mountain Bike Patrol and Mountain Bike Association of Arizona. And, for the first time ever, these nonprofit partners will host a pre-party on Mill, featuring games and activities to get participants pumped up.
This year’s tour is the biggest and boldest yet, with 33 cities set to host the crazy combination of world-class talent, top-notch beer, and philanthropic fun. Tempe, Arizona is lucky enough to have Michael Franti & Spearhead as the headlining act. Franti may perform his brand new single, “Summertime Is In Our Hands,” which is part of his new album, SOULROCKER, inspired by acoustic, electronic, reggae and dancehall elements.
Known for “beer, bikes and bemusement,” Tour de Fat promises a fabulous time. “This year we’re bringing in top headliners, such as Michael Franti & Spearhead, along with an eclectic mix of local talent, vaudeville acts, and magicians, plus a street fair, bike parade, great beer and we’ll be raising money for our non-profit partners,” said New Belgium Brand Manager, Sam Sawyer. “Tempe has welcomed Tour de Fat with open arms for many years and we are grateful for the city’s support and partnership. We couldn’t be more excited to be returning to close out this year’s tour.”
Attendees are encouraged to go all out and wear costumes. Those 21 and older are welcome to enjoy some of New Belgium’s year-round line-up including the American craft beer icon Fat Tire, Voodoo Ranger IPA and Citradelic Tangerine IPA. Throughout the festival, guests will have a chance to check out The Sputnik Stage: the world’s first satellite stage, aptly described as “a one-of-a-kind, Vaudeville Nouveau-meets-classic melodrama, Tim Burton-meets-Wile E. Coyote, all-American, one-quarter European, contraption-riddled, character-driven, risk-taking, expectation-breaking, circus-infused, standing-ovation-inducing, theatrical extravaganza!”
Since it’s inaugural year in 2000, Tour de Fat has raised nearly $5 million for non-profit partners, and this year, they hope to generate more than $600,000 in support of local causes this year. These funds make a huge difference to these nonprofit organizations. “The money raised at Tour de Fat allows us to hire trained staff to lead our volunteers, expand our hours to help more people, and start looking at a larger space that will allow us to refurbish more bicycles than ever before. I look forward to Tour de Fat in Tempe and thank you to the New Belgium crew for everything you do,” said Patrick Gilbery, shop manager of Bicycle Saviours, a volunteer-run, non-profit education center dedicated to teaching people about bicycle maintenance, building and repair. Completely open to the public, Bicycle Saviours provides affordable, repurposed bikes and parts through the collection of donated, recycled parts from throughout the community.
Tempe Bicycle Action Group is another one of the nonprofit partners that benefits from this event. Their mission is to make bicycling a prominent, safe and convenient form of transportation and recreation in Tempe, Arizona and surrounding areas through education, grassroots events, and civic participation. Another benefitting nonprofit is the Central Arizona Mountain Bike Patrol, with which dedicated volunteers partner with land managers, landowners and emergency personnel to assist, educate and inform all trail users in order to enhance their recreational experience. The Mountain Bike Association of Arizona also benefits. Their mission is to promote, protect, and preserve the Arizona trail experience through education, advocacy, and responsible recreational and competitive mountain biking.
The Mill Avenue Street Fair will kick off at 11:00 a.m., followed by the bike parade at noon. The Tour de Fat Festival will run from 3:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at Tempe Beach Park, 80 W Rio Salado Pkwy Tempe, AZ.
Below is the tentative schedule for the bonanza:
11:00 a.m. – Mill Ave Street Fair Opens
12:00 p.m. – Parade Launch (3rd St. and Mill Ave) & Tour de Fat Box Office Open
3:00 p.m. – Tour de Fat Festival Opens
3:40 p.m. – Fire Leopard
4:00 p.m. – Fashion Show
4:45 p.m. – TBA (Battle of the Bands winner)
6:00 p.m. – Slow Ride
6:25 p.m. – SSSSnake
6:45 p.m. – Dance Contest
7:45 p.m. – Michael Franti & Spearhead
9:00 p.m. – Adios! (Curfew)
An American Sign Language interpreter will be on-site for the event.
Tickets are $25 plus fees, and are first come, first serve. Tickets are available for purchase in advance online and donations for non-profits will be accepted at the event.