Tour de Fat is a party on wheels, plus beer

“Costumes and bikes. Hello?” says Mazal Simantov, dressed as a skeleton. “Perfect.”

More than 10,000 bedecked bicycle riders toured Downtown Boise on Saturday in the 14th annual Tour de Fat parade. It’s Boise’s biggest Tour de Fat and, in fact, the biggest Tour de Fat in the country to date.

“My job is to throw some circus into the party,” says New Belgium Impresario Matthew Ché Kowal. “Boise just throws it back. ... It’s nice to take the show on the road and see people get it.”

Over the 14 years, the Tour, produced by New Belgium Brewing of Fort Collins, Colo, has generated more than $400,000 for three bicycling advocacy groups: Southwest Idaho Mountain Biking Assocation, Treasure Valley Cycling Alliance and Boise Bicycle Project. This year, organizers hoped to raise $90,000.

“It’s a blast every year,” says zombie Amanda Horn. “Good company. Good costumes. Great beer.”

The parade’s hallmark is the clever costumes. (Only occasionally a bit risqué.)

“I love it,” says Erica Dryden, dressed as Sparklin’ Sparlin, complete with a gold glitter mustache. “It brings the community together to be their authentic selves that we often have to hide. I love the creativity.”

The party continued after the parade at Ann Morrison Park with food, beer, of course, and entertainment.

“Bike-ability and walk-ability,” says Kowal. “Boise’s ahead of the game. We’re proud that it’s something we’ve been working on together.”