New Festival Carries On Fort's Tradition of Downtown Partying

By Emily Clingman

A true Fort Collins aficionado can never have enough events celebrating the three B’s— beer, bikes and bands. So, thank the fiesta gods that there’s a new occasion this fall which will melt a devoted “Fortie’s” heart. Well, thank the Downtown Business Association, really.
On Sept. 21 and 22, the DBA will host FORToberfest, a celebration of bikes…and beer and bands. “Basically, it’s everything bike,” said DBA Events and Marketing Director, Peggy Lyle. “ We will have all elements represented but we wanted to create an event where we could really dive into bikes and bring attention to the bike culture here in Fort Collins.”

It’s a dynamic society, for sure. Bicycling Magazine named Fort Collins no. 12 on its list of 50 best bicycle friendly cities in America for 2012, citing our 310-mile cycling network—including 280 miles of along road bike lanes—and a pioneering bike-share program that has served more than 11,000 riders since opening in 2008. From sleek, jersey-wearing die-hards to fun-loving college kids on their beach cruisers, Fort Collins embraces a unique bike ethos.

Bicycle manufactures and related vendors will be on hand at FORToberfest. Non-profit organizations like FC Bikes and the Bike Library will be also engaged. There will be a tune-up area, a bike wash, a showcase of historical and stand-out bikes (like those really tall ones you see people riding on) and a pimp-your-bike contest.

“Put some bling on it or make it crazy,” Lyle said.
Odell Brewing Company will provide professional and amateur brews seasonally appropriate for a fall festival. Local band, Mama Lenny and the Remedy —whose self-described style is “rock, rhythm, blues, soul…and sequins”—will be performing. The Otone Brass Band will be coming up from Denver to stun festival-goers with its energetic eight-piece horn and drum ensemble. These are just are just a few of the many musical acts scheduled to perform thoughout the weekend.

“It’s something that people identify with,” Lyle said. “We needed a fun event for the calendar and September seemed like a nice time plan something that celebrated bicycles.”
The event is free and everyone is obviously encouraged to ride their bikes. Lyle also encouraged attendeed to dress up in costume, also a popular pastime of the locals.
“Whatever tickles your fashion fancy,” Lyle said.
“The main point is to come together, enjoy some seasonal brews, enjoy the weather, enjoy some music,” she said. “Its an end of summer celebration. We want it to feel like you’re in your backyard.”

FORToberfest Info:
Located on Walnut and Linden, in Old Town Square Square
Fri, Sept. 21, 5-10:30p.m.
Sat, Sept. 22, 11a.m.-10:30p.m.
Free/all ages
For more information: Downtownfortcollins.com

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