Video by Chapman Croskell
When beer, music and friends are promised, then beer, music and friends are exactly what you get with Tour de Fat—a whole day celebrating oddities and amusement with some beer bringing it all together. Many people found themselves at New Belgium Brewing for various reasons Saturday evening, but they all found something they might enjoy regardless.
Tour de Fat has been a longstanding tradition not only for Fort Collins but for New Belgium as well. While there is a focus on the bikes and beer, it is not the only thing people found to enjoy. From a costume contest to circus performers and more, Tour de Fat offered a wide variety of entertainment and an even wider variety of people who attended.
“It is just a good chance to meet people,” said first-year business and finance major at Colorado State University Connor Merriner. “Thought I would give it a shot and it is a lot more relaxed than I expected.”
While it may be Merriner’s first time at Tour de Fat, plenty of seasoned Tour de Fat veterans embraced the situation as much as they could.
“It’s bigger than I think most people realize,” said Eric Seelhoff, who has attended the Tour the last four years. “It is good to get together and see all the people of the world come together.”
Diversity played a huge role in a lot ways for Tour de Fat as it celebrated every walk of life. Musicians and attendees alike all shared a common theme when appreciating the things that make each person unique or individual and have some fun while doing it.
From moving stages to live music from Citra, attendees who got in early enough found plenty to experience. What really got the crowd engaged was some of the events such as the costume contest, dance contest and the slow ride competition, all of which were events when participants, costumed or not, had a chance to win prizes and more.
“Beer and Bikes are what make Fort Collins,” said Jenn Vervier, the strategy director at New Belgium. “Fort Collins really is the one that owns Tour de Fat.”
Noah Tabakian was the music director and MC for Saturday’s festivities. While it may have been Tabakian’s first year as MC, he was as involved in every competition as the crowd was.
“I’m always adding more to my bag of tricks,” Tabakian said. “The inclusiveness is what sets us apart here.”
Before the anyone knew it, the crowd started to pack in around the make-shift stage as the X Ambassadors started to perform. While the night may have been about celebrating diversity, the band’s set reflected just that. The band performed many of their popular songs such as “Renegades” “Low Life” and “Jungle,” also performing plenty of new music as well, including singles released from their upcoming sophomore album to unreleased music such as “Joyful.” “We are allies on this stage,” said front man Sam Harris in between songs. Harris was quick to remind the crowd that despite the current situations around the world and those affected by the flooding in Houston that there are people trying to help. Harris said before getting off stage, “You do not have to be afraid.”
That is when the main headliner for the evening took the stage. The All-American Rejects came out swinging. This was a band that was as invested in their performance as the crowd that shouted along with every single word. While the band joked about taking it old school with playing some of their older hits like “Swing Swing” and “Dirty Little Secret,” the band did transition to playing music from their upcoming fifth-studio album like “Sweat.” Front man Tyson Ritter was engaging with the audience as much as he could even having an impromptu costume contest between songs and coming up with random songs on the spot as he waited for a beer. The band was always moving around, and before anyone had time to process the encore of “Gives You Hell” fans started to shuffle out the gates.
Tour de Fat celebrated a lot of things Saturday evening and plenty took part of the parade or festivities at the New Belgium. For one afternoon, there was plenty of compassion and understanding about what makes each person unique and Tour de Fat gave everyone a chance to express that, while providing music, beer and much more.
Collegian Reporter Alec Erickson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on twitter @CTV_Ace.