The Chicagoist will be launching later but in the meantime please enjoy our archives.

New Belgium's Tour De Fat Returning To Chicago

By Chuck Sudo in Arts & Entertainment on Mar 5, 2015 3:10PM

Photo credit: Stephanie Barto

Chicago has long been a favored stop on New Belgium Brewing's Tour de Fat and it wouldn't feel like summer unless the Fort Collins, Colorado brewery brought its traveling roadshow of "bikes, beer and bemusement" to Palmer Square. Pencil in July 11 and pack sunscreen and plenty of water.

Now in its 16th year, Tour de Fat has raised over $4 million for local nonprofits at its various stops, including $30,000 last year for West Town Bikes' youth programs.

The festival is free but beer and merchandise sales and collected donations go to charity. The highlight of each Tour de Fat stop is arguably the bicycle parade that begins each day of merriment. New additions for this year's lineup include a "Le Tigre Grande" variety tent and "Sputnik" mobile stage. New Belgium is one of American craft beer's strongest proponents of bicycle culture and every year gives cruiser bikes to brave souls who donate their cars to charity. If you absolutely need to hold on to your four wheels (or don't drive and need a bike), Tour de Fat holds a 1,000-person dance contest; the winner receives a cruiser bike.