Calling everyone who loves craft beer, music and fun. Tour de Fat, “the greatest little show on earth,” returns to New Belgium Brewing Asheville, with bikes, brews and philanthropic fun — from 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 21, at NBB’s Craven Street campus.
This year marks the 20th year of Tour de Fat, and admission is free for this ‘happening’ party. Everyone is invited to come in costume for this a one-of-a-kind party, but if costumes aren’t your thing, no worries.
“It’s a celebration of great beer, good people, and humankind’s most wonderful invention — the bicycle,” Michael Craft, New Belgium spokesperson and employee-owner.
Asheville is one of three cities chosen for the tour this year. It’s a day “packed full of free festivities celebration beer, bikes and bemusement.” This is a family-friendly event with plenty of activities for children, too.
NBB is an employee-owned company with core values including: producing world-class beers, environmental stewardship — and having fun.
Bikes and more bikes
“Our love for bikes runs deep at New Belgium — we like to say our brewery was born on a bicycle seat — so every year we spread that love around the country by coming into towns and hosting the best way to spend a Saturday,” said Tour de Fat brand manager, John Yeast. “Big thanks in advance to everyone who will celebrate with us as we attempt to eclipse the $6 million mark of funds raised and donated to nonprofit organizations.”
The festival starts at 11 a.m. with a costumed bicycle float parade from Hominy Creek — plus an option to rent paddle boards to float down the French Broad River.
The daylong festivities are free, but proceeds from Asheville beer, merchandise sales and parade donations, go to benefit Asheville on Bikes, an organization focused on promoting urban and commuter cycling through advocacy and celebration.
“Bicycles basically run on fat and save you money, so they fit perfectly with our commitment to sustainability,” Yeast said. “Riding improves physical wellness and mental health, reduces CO2 emissions and provides a responsible form of transportation after a beer — or two.”
Pedal Powered Parade Float Contest
“New in 2019 is the first ever Tour de Fat Pedal Powered Parade Float Contest,” said Craft. “Contestants are encouraged to make a pedal-powered float — on a bike.”
The parade theme this year is “Fun in the Sun,” and will follow a 5.8-mile route from French Broad Outfitters, 230 Hominy Creek Rd., to New Belgium. The route is on mostly paved greenway or bike lines in Carrier Park and French Broad River, with short sections on the road.
Judging will be based on creativity, flair, and uniqueness of the pedal-powered float. The winning float/team will receive a $500 credit toward beer and merchandise at the New Belgium Liquid Center in Asheville.
“A typical Tour de Fat parade draws thousands of costumed revelers together who share our mission to amaze and entertain,” Yeast said. “To stoke those creative fires, this year we’re offering a sweet $500 prize package to those people, businesses, civic groups, and the like who wow the crowd by rolling around in unmatched one-of-a-kind style.”
A pre-party is planned for parade contestants Friday evening, Sept. 20, at French Broad Outfitters.
Contest participants may register as a single participant or as part of a team. All contest participants must register with Asheville on Bikes prior to the Tour de Fat parade launch.
Visit www.ashevilleonbikes.com/events/asheville-tour-de-fat for information.
Entrants must be at least 21 years old to be eligible to win the $500 prize credit for the New Belgium Brewing Liquid Center in Asheville.
Immediately following the bike parade, revelers will enjoy New Belgium’s Craven Street outdoor space for an afternoon of free entertainment from a touring ensemble of comedians, cirque performers, general ‘mayhemists,’ live musicians and, of course, world-class New Belgium beer. Main stage entertainment runs from 1 – 6 p.m.
“Tour de Fat is a family-friendly event,” Craft said. “Entertainers will keep children engaged with fun age-appropriate activities. We expect a full-house throughout the afternoon. New Belgium Asheville has become the ‘neighborhood place and park’ to be.”
Event highlights include: the Slow Ride at 2:40 p.m.; Kolars band at 3:10 p.m.; dance contest at 4:20 p.m.; and The Connells, a Raleigh-based pop style rock band at 5 p.m. The band’s style is described as “guitar-oriented, melodic, jangle pop style of rock music, with introspective lyrics that reflect the American South.”
New Belgium brews will be sold, but nooutside beer, liquor, or moonshine will be allowed. A valid I.D. is required for beer purchase.
New Belgium Brewing tries to leave as little of an environmental imprint as possible. Tour de Fat will hosts green vendors, uses compost and recycle stations and “consciously works diligently to practice sustainable festivization.”
Volunteers are sought for the bike float parade and Tour de Fat festivities at New Belgium. Visit www.newbelgiumbrewingcompany.volunteerlocal.com to sign up to help.
This is a rain or shine event.For more details about the Asheville Tour de Fat stop, visit www.newbelgium.com/events/tour-de-fat/tour-de-fat-2019-asheville/.
New Belgium Brewing is at 21 Craven St. in Asheville’s River Arts District. Call 828-333-6900 or visit www.newbelgium.com.
New Belgium Brewing, makers of Fat Tire Amber Ale and a host of Belgian-inspired beers, is recognized as one of Outside Magazine’s Best Places to Work, one of the Wall Street Journal’s Best Small Businesses and tops Bicycling Magazine’s Best Companies of Cyclists. The 100 percent employee-owned brewery is a Platinum-level Bicycle Friendly Business, as designated by the League of American Bicyclists, one of World Blu’s most democratic U.S. businesses and a Certified B Corp.
In addition to Fat Tire Amber Ale, New Belgium brews 14 year-round beers: Citradelic Tangerine IPA, Fat Tire Belgian White, The Hemperor HPA, Voodoo Ranger IPA, Voodoo Ranger Imperial IPA, Voodoo Ranger Juicy Haze IPA, Sour Saison, Honey Orange Tripel, Dayblazer Easygoing Ale, 1554 Enlightened Dark Ale, Bohemian Pilsner, Abbey Belgian Style Ale, Trippel and a gluten-reduced beer, Glutiny Pale Ale.