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Boise Goathead Fest returns this summer, offering food and drinks in exchange for goatheads

The bicycle party and parade is hoping to rid sidewalks and bike paths of the pesky thorns that pop so many bicyclists' tires.
Credit: Tyson White/KTVB

BOISE, Idaho — Goatheads can be the bane for bicyclists across the Treasure Valley so the Boise Goathead Fest is putting bounties on goatheads to help bicyclists, pedestrians, and dogs around the valley.

The Boise Goathead Fest is returning this August for the second year after it filled the void that the Tour de Fat left in 2017. Organizers behind the bicycle party and parade are planning to help clear sidewalks and bike paths from the pesky thorns that pop so many bicyclists' tires.

"You can find goatheads everywhere and they are awful," said Julia Fishman, Boise. "They get stuck in his (the dog's) paws and then he has to get them out or he's a little baby and I have to get them out for him."

Starting this weekend, goatheads can be redeemed for free food and drinks at the festival.

MORE: Mayor Bieter leads volunteer goathead collection ahead of Boise Goathead Festival

"For every thirty pounds you pull, you get either a beverage token or an ice cream token to use at Boise Goathead Fest so usually beer or ice cream depending on what your age is," said Jimmy Hallyburton, co-founder of Boise Goathead Fest.

Hallyburton recommends dropping them off while they're fresh because they weigh more.

He expects the party and parade to attract thousands, and help out local bicycle nonprofits.

"It's our big, huge bicycle festival, there is a several-thousand pedal person parade," he said. "This year we expect six thousand to eight thousand riders, all ages, and costumes encouraged."

RELATED: EVENT GUIDE: Summer fun in the Treasure Valley and beyond

All the money raised from parade entries and food and drink sales will go toward supporting nonprofits, one of which is the Boise Bicycle Project. The BBP gives away hundreds of free bike to children in low-income families, every year.

"One thing that we know is when we donate a bicycle to a kid that they probably have a flat tire, especially in the summertime, within about a month or sooner of when we donate," Hallyburton said. "So we are really trying hard to go into these neighborhoods and make sure that we are pulling any goatheads that could be growing onto those sidewalks that would potentially give a flat tire to a kid and disconnect them from the community."

To collect goatheads for rewards and to help kids avoid getting flat tires this summer, you can take in the whole plant - not just the thorny bits. 

People can drop off their collection of goatheads at the North End Organic Nursery until July 31.

RELATED: Boise Bicycle Project donates bikes to kids for the twelfth year

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