Finding a festival during the summer in Chicago is about as easy as finding a runner who hates shin-splints. Every weekend neighborhoods in every direction within the city host various block parties and local festivals. This weekend, cyclists get their turn to shine as the Tour de Fat returns to Chicago.
The bicycle themed fest will be held at Palmer Square in the Logan Square neighborhood on the city’s northwest side. It will last from 11am until 5pm on Saturday, July 12 with activities planned throughout the day. While the event is free to attend, presenters are asking for donations. Those who donate early enough can receive some prizes in return. With a $5 donation before Friday, registrants can get either a 2014 TdF license plate or a frog bike light. There are also options for other levels of donation.
Tour de fat will once again be primarily hosted by Fat Tire Brewery in partnership with West Town Bikes and the Illinois Recycling Association. There will be two stages featured during the festival with shows scheduled bouncing between the stages. Events will kick off with the Bike Parade Launch followed by the costume contest. Bands will take the stage intermittently to keep the party going.
Attendees with their bikes can participate in the slow Ride Race. Those without a bike can take the big jump and exchange their car for a new bike. Tour de Fat is looking for at least one person who will volunteer to trade in his car keys and pledge to live car free for a full year. Everyone who makes the switch will be given a stipend to purchase a commuter bike. To take part in the swap, those interested need to submit an application stating why they are ready to give up driving. The application will be in the form of a two minute video submission on the Chicago Tour de Fat Facebook page. They will then be given $2,250 to use to buy a bike and accessories. Their car will be auctioned off by Vehicles for Charity with the money going to local cycling organizations.
As would be expected by any event hosted by Fat Tire, there will be plenty of food and drink options available as well. For more information on the Chicago Tour de Fat, visit their website or Facebook page.