Never heard of Tour de Fat? "Fat" has nothing to do with the size of the event, rather, it refers to Fat Tire, a beer produced by New Belgium Brewing that features a bicycle on the label. But despite the festival's creators, this event is not about beer. It is about the joys and practicality of the bicycle. Tour de Fat's mission is to encourage more people to commit to commuting via bike rather than car. This national traveling festival is celebrating its 10th anniversary, but this will be its first year visiting bike-lovin' Minneapolis. The parade marks the start of the event, and those interested in participating are encouraged to dress their bikes up fancy and don fun costumes. Performances on the solar-powered stage include family-friendly acts like Mucca Pazza, Squirm Burpee Circus, and the Sprokettes. Midday there will be a Carpocalypse Now funeral procession where a volunteer will hand over the keys to his car in exchange for a commuter bike. All proceeds will benefit local cycling nonprofits. And yes, there will be beer there. Also neat-o: If you're one of those people who tends to find festival drink tickets in your pockets or backpacks weeks later, save the ones from this festival. According to the website, the tokens never expire and can be used next year. For more info visit www.newbelgium.com/tour-de-fat.
Sat., July 18, 9 a.m.-4 p.m., 2009