Tour De Fat Leaves Boise
A parade? Beer? Before major changes to the event in 2017, New Belgium Brewing's Tour De Fat was one of the Treasure Valley's favorite beer festivals.
The once free festival has been an essential part of the summer experience in Boise since New Belgium hosted the event in Julia Davis Park. It's popularity and growing size exploded so organizers moved it to Ann Morrison Park in 2008. That's where it's been held every summer prior to 2017 when New Belgium Brewing Company wanted to attract bigger musical acts to their event.
That's why they started charging a $25 admission fee and moved the festival to a venue better suited for concerts, Outlaw Field at the Idaho Botanical Gardens. The change caused attendance of the tour's signature bicycle parade to drop from 12,000 in 2016 to just 5,000 in 2017. According to the Idaho Statesman, a mere 1,500 made the trek from the parade to the Botanical Gardens for the concert.
New Belgium knew it was a flop and promised to come back with a better event in 2018. Well, it seems like they've gone back on their promise. Jimmy Hallyburton with the Boise Bicycle Project tells the Statesman that Tour De Fat will not return this year. That's a bummer for the non-profit that's directly benefited from the fundraising dollars the festival brought into the Treasure Valley. They're working on an event to fill the hole Tour De Fat leaves behind and promises that not only will it be big, but uniquely local as well.