"I heard Tour De Fat is going to suck this year, is that true?"

That's an actual question that Boise Bicycle Project founder Jimmy Hallyburton got after New Belgium announced changes to one of Boise's favorite summertime festivals, Tour De Fat. After 8 years at Ann Morrison Park (and 6 at Julia Davis,) Tour De Fat is moving to a new home at the Idaho Botanical Garden's Outlaw Field.  It's also no longer free (tickets to the festival part will cost you $25) to attend. Oh, and if you look at the marketing material for this year, it virtually has no mention of bicycles at all.  With big changes like that, it's no wonder Hallyburton got the "will it suck?" question.

The quick answer? No, it's not going to suck...it's just going to be different. Here's what you need to know before you go.

1) Love the Bike Parade? Good, Boise got to keep theirs.

According to Boise Bicycle Project's video about Tour De Fat 2017, Boise was lucky that we got to keep ours.  Tour De Fat expanded to 33 cities this year and only three of those stops actually have a bike parade, Boise being one of them. The parade is still FREE to participate in and will still start at Ann Morrison Park.  The only change to the parade is that it will end at the Capitol for a rally focusing on bicycle road safety, the non-profits benefiting from Tour De Fat and more. The parade starts at 10 a.m.  BBP would like you to officially "register" for the parade so they can see how close they can get to last year's 12,000 participants.

2) There is still a way to get into the festival for FREE

Tour De Fat can't happen without an army of volunteers. You can sign up to work with BBP in their info/merch booth, at the beer booth, be a parade marshal and other duties HERE. That earns you free entry into the festival as a thank you.

3) Don't want to spend $25 on tickets? Grab a Groupon!

I really need to get into this Groupon thing more often.  If you would like to attend the festival to check out headliner Blackberry Smoke, you can get tickets for $19 on Groupon.  Buy 4 and you'll get then even cheaper at $17.25 a piece. The only catch? You have to buy them before the deal ends on Friday.

4) Local charities are still involved, so please come show them some love!

Obviously the Boise Bicycle Project plays a huge role in organizing Tour De Fat and receives thousands of dollars raised through the event.  Southwest Idaho Mountain Biking Association and Treasure Valley Cycling Alliance benefit as well.  Hallyburton tells the Idaho Statesman that he anticipates their takeaway from this year's festival to be down about $14,000 with the changes New Belgium has in place and the potential drop in attendance.  If you're there, buy some swag from BBP or have a beer to help raise more donations.

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