Helping Works

Party your ‘stache off at this Boise bike ride to support the Fallen Firefighter Foundation

Be a part of the number one fundraiser for the Idaho Fallen Firefighter Foundation

The Boise Mustache Memorial Ride is Saturday, May 25, in Downtown Boise. The block party/bike ride benefits the Idaho Fallen Firefighter Foundation.
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The Boise Mustache Memorial Ride is Saturday, May 25, in Downtown Boise. The block party/bike ride benefits the Idaho Fallen Firefighter Foundation.

Bike tuned? Check. Mustache on fleek? Oh yeah!

Then pedal your way to Downtown Boise on Saturday, May 25, for the Boise Mustache Memorial Ride.

So what is your ‘stache situation?

Particularly proud of how your Chevron is growing in? Then what a golden opportunity to channel your inner Magnum P.I. and really let that sucker shine!

However, if that glorious upper lip of Tom Selleck’s is not your vibe, no worries.

Any facial masterpiece will do — be it an English mustache with neatly waxed tips, a rugged horseshoe, a full-on Fu Manchu or even a novelty sticker version, like I’ll be wearing.

Whatever stages of stubble you got going on, just bring your face down to the block party at 6th and Main streets.

Registration begins at noon and the police- and fire-escorted bike ride takes off at around 2 p.m.

Travel through Downtown Boise, then back to a fenced-in 6th and Main to party it up with other bushy-lipped folk.

There will be games, music and raffles, and grub available from Sushi Shack, Mad Mac and Coned food trucks.

Pop in and grab a beer from Tom Grainey’s or Silly Birch, and maybe some dark liquor from Whiskey Bar — a few of the participating area clubs offering exclusive happy hour pricing throughout the day.

And don’t forget to dress to dazzle for the costume and mustache contests, take a group photo next to the Mustache Wall of Fame, and snag up your own official Boise Mustache swag.

I know, I know ... take a shot every time I say “mustache,” right?

Well, get ready to pour another, because I had to ask: “What’s the deal with the mustache mania?”

Josh Zimmerly, a firefighter at Boise Fire Department and founder of the Boise Mustache Memorial Ride, was kind enough to give me the 411.

It started back in 2009, when “a group of firefighters from North Ada County Fire & Rescue (which has since merged with Boise Fire Department) and Gowen Field Fire Department had a mustache-growing contest.”

The group opted to ride bikes along the Boise Greenbelt, stopping off at various bars and restaurants along the way to be judged by the staff and patrons for Best Mustache.

T-shirts were made of the event, and a small donation went toward paying the loan for the Idaho Fallen Firefighter Memorial, which was taken out by a small group of firefighters in the Valley.

Pictures of the event were posted to social media and soon gained the interest of other local fire departments wanting to participate.

So it became an annual event with a new goal: to pay off the memorial loan debt.

And in 2014, it was.

The ride continued, and now proceeds go to the Idaho Fallen Firefighter Foundation, which “provides support to the families of firefighters who are seriously injured or have died in the line of duty, and offers a variety of programs to support the health and safety of firefighters statewide.”

The memorial ride is celebrating its 10th year, and despite how much the event has grown, the roots are not forgotten — the bike parade goes past the Fallen Firefighter Memorial and the day continues to bustle with mustaches.

Registration is $20 in advance at eventbrite.com or $25 at the event.

Check out the event’s Facebook page for more information.

Michelle Jenkins compiles event calendars, archives and writes a Helping Works column for the Idaho Statesman. She attended Boise State University and grew up in New Plymouth, Idaho.

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