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Annual Tour de Fat unites cyclists in Colorado

A group of girls ride in the Tour de Fat costumed bike parade following a country theme Aug. 26. Tour de Fat is celebrating its 24th year with a day full of free activities for people of all ages.

The well-known costumed bike parade Tour de Fat took over Fort Collins Saturday, Aug. 26. Families and friends from all over Northern Colorado came to participate in the parade and the event held afterward at New Belgium Brewing Company. 

“We’re new to Fort Collins, and we wanted to engage in the community, and I think it’s a great way to be who you are and get out and have fun,” said Kristin Griff, a biker in the parade. 


The festival at the end of the parade showcased many small businesses to create a sense of community. The Waffle Lab, Las Catrinas and Fat Tomato Inc. were among the most popular.

“We’re here for some fun in the sun,” said Paul Michaelson, an employee for Matador, as he was handing out burritos to customers in line for his food truck. It seemed every business had a minimum of 40 people in line trying to buy food and drinks.

People at the festival were dressed in many different costumes. A young boy in a shark costume was a finalist in the costume contest as a baby shark. Another festival member went all out and dressed up as Jesus.

“I’ve always been told I look like Jesus — at least when I have long hair — so I thought I would do it,” said Justin Youngk, a New Belgium employee. “It’s my first Tour de Fat, and it was kind of a last-minute buy. It’s a good time to come and express yourself in whatever way you want, in costume or lack thereof, and get some drinks, have some food, but I’m still kind of learning as I’m here now.”

In between the festivities, many bands and performers, such as Lady Denim and Thee Sacred Souls, played music on the three stages held at the festival. To promote the “come as you are” theme of this year’s parade, New Belgium Brewing Company had American Sign Language interpreters throughout the festival to ensure everyone would be included. 

“The dancing made it feel like I was young again, back in the clubs, and I think the costumes added in with the dancing was an incredible experience,” Griff said in between performance sets.

People walking on stilts and performing stunts also graced the stage with their talent, which was a hit with the younger ones in the crowd. There was also a bike track with small bikes for kids — and adults that fit — to show off their own tricks. 

Many people who attend Tour de Fat have formed a tradition of coming every year. 

“We do Tour de Fat every year; we’ve done it for almost 10 years now,” said Lucy Nuremberg, a festival guest. “So it’s a really special tradition we have between our group, and we’re so excited to be here. This year, we’re all Barbies and Kens. We’ve done matching costumes every year.”


Although Tour de Fat seems to be just a bike parade with beer, it supports many local nonprofit groups. 

“This year, proceeds from beer sales go to Bike Fort Collins, the Overland Mountain Bike Association, the Fort Collins Bike Co-op and SendTown Bike Club,” according to the New Belgium website

Reach Alexander Wilson at or on Twitter @alexgrey0604.

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