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Tour de Fat Brings Bikes and Vaudeville Act Back to Palmer Square

By Darryl Holliday | July 9, 2015 6:31am

LOGAN SQUARE — New Belgium’s annual Tour de Fat festival and parade will return to Palmer Square on Saturday for day of beer, bikes and carnival-style celebration.

As in the past, the daylong event is free, but all donations and proceeds from beer and merchandise sales go to Chicago-area nonprofits. The national tour made $625,000 for charity last year, with the Chicago stop bringing in $31,826. This year, all money raised in Chicago will go to West Town Bikes and CHIRP Radio.

This year’s eclectic arrangement includes performances from Sister Sparrow & The Dirty Birds, Reggie Watts, yo-yo performers, vaudeville and death-defying comedy acts, according to a New Belgium announcement.

Brewing education, a bicycle revival, ridable art bikes, a “Thousand Person Dance Contest” to win a New Belgium cruiser bike, and even a fashion show are all part of this year's event. Tour de Fat’s Le Tigre Grande variety tent is also set to up the ante by adding more entertainment options from past years.

Festival-goers 21 years and older can sample new and classic favorites from New Belgium, including the brewery’s flagship brew, Fat Tire, New Belgium’s latest year-round offering, Slow Ride Session IPA, and selections from the acclaimed Lips of Faith series.

“Maybe you already bike all over town, or you’re a weekend warrior, or just a little bike curious,” said New Belgium Brewing’s Tour de Fat Impresario Matt Kowal. “If so, this is for you. It’s a summer stew of sorts where we all come together, let our alter egos shine with no inhibitions.”

“You’ll find dancing, contests, bike swapping, music making and a tiny tent where anything can happen. It’s one carnival you’ll actually regret missing,” Kowal added in a statement.

The full schedule of events is as follows:

Main Stage:               

10 a.m. — Parade Registration

11 a.m. — Parade Kick-Off

11:50 a.m. — Fashion! (Best Costumes of the Tour de Fat)

12:10 p.m. — Sister Sparrow & The Dirty Birds

1:10 p.m. — The Slow Ride Races

2:10 p.m. — 1,000 Person Dance Contest – Winner receives a New Belgium Cruiser!

2:40 p.m. — Car for Bike Trade

4 p.m. — Reggie Watts

5 p.m. — Finale
Stage Stage:

12:20 p.m. and 3:20 p.m. — Superfriends Variety Hour: Death Defying Comedy, Chain Saws and Bananas
Le Tigre Circus Tent:

11:15 a.m. — Marnie Sams Muffin Show (Kids Show)

11:50 a.m. — The Other One

12:20 p.m. — Fire Leopard 

1:10 p.m. — The Kroup

2:05 p.m. — Yo-Yo Time Machine

2:40 p.m. — Honeymoon Cabaret

3:30 p.m. — The Other One

4:20 p.m. — Etiquette School
Lips Lounge Tapping:

Noon — La Folie, Hop Tart, Pear Ginger Beer

2 p.m. — Carnie’s Blood

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