CHICAGO – Bicycle and beer enthusiasts raised thousands of dollars Saturday afternoon in Humboldt Park for local nonprofit West Town Bikes.
Attendees cycled in the bike parade around Humboldt Park and returned to the mainstage for entertainment. In the afternoon the Tour de Fat festival offered a giant game of Twister, comedic acts and musical headliner Best Coast.
After biking in the sweltering heat, cyclists bought a tall glass of cold beer to cool down. Each year all proceeds from New Belgium Brewing Company’s beer sales are donated to West Town Bikes which is a nonprofit serving youth in West and Northwest Chicago neighborhoods.
Obesity, transportation and access to education are some of the main issues that the organization’s programs aim to solve.“We see bicycles as a solution to a lot of the problems that plague our communities,” said Michael Young, West Town Bike’s operations manager said.
With the profits earned from Tour de Fat, West Town Bikes has sufficient funding to mentor youth in the community.
In the past, Tour de Fat has raised $25,000 to $30,000 in a single day which is enough to fund a youth program for a year.
Sam Sawyer, the Tour de Fat brand manager, said that New Belgium Brewing Company has raised more than $5 million for bike nonprofits across the United States over the past 19 years. Sawyer reiterated the joy of knowing that Tour de Fat benefits local communities.
“We’re doing everything we can to make these super successful because it is an absolute labor of love,” Sawyer said.
Bicyclist Max Hertz has attended Tour de Fat for the past few years. Hertz viewed the festival as a win-win situation to support West Town Bikes and enjoy Chicago.
“You get to ride around and then you get to come here, drink delicious beer, and have a good time,” Hertz said.