PALMER SQUARE — The eighth annual Tour de Fat will kick off once again in Palmer Square Park this weekend with more music, vaudeville acts and family friendly activities — and more bike racks.
As in past years, the New Belgium Brewing event will start with a bike parade that will step off at 11 a.m. Saturday from Palmer Square at Kedzie Avenue and Palmer Street then return after a five-mile jaunt around the neighborhood.
Darryl Holliday says the festival will be ready for all those arriving on bikes this year:
But after dozens of bikes were chained to fences and other private property last year, festival organizers said they’ll increase the number of Tour de Fat-designated bike racks in and around the park.
“We want to make sure we’re good neighbors when we come to these parks,” said Paul Gruber, Tour operations manager. “From our side we're working on adding tons of additional bike parking as a message to fans to respect the hood.”
“People are just looking to anything they find in the neighborhood,” he added. “But you wouldn’t want someone to come to your house and lock onto your fence.”
According to Gruber, the festival will be updated this year but will feature all the usual suspects, including punk rock marching band Mucca Pazza, a comedy lineup and Cirque de Soleil-style performances.
Headliners include Los Amigos Invisibles, the opening act is The Reals and variety acts include Yoyo People and The Handsome Little Devils. Four special craft brew tappings will also take place each hour beginning at noon:
• Noon: Two kegs each of La Folie, Rampant and Gruit
• 1 p.m.: Two kegs of FoCollaboration
• 2 p.m.: One keg Carnie Blood
• 3 p.m.: Two kegs of Gratzer
Past festivals have attracted some 6,000 attendees and raised thousands of dollars for Humboldt Park nonprofit West Town Bikes.
“We’re hoping to stay in Palmer Square, we really like that neighborhood. And as that neighborhood grows and connects more with Logan Square, I think it’ll [continue to be] a really great area to have our fest,” Gruber said.