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EVENT GUIDE: 'Wonderfully weird' Boise Goathead Fest fills void left by Tour de Fat

The Boise cycling community is embracing that ever-present nuisance known as goatheads by making them the mascot of a new bicycle-centric festival in downtown Boise.
Credit: KTVB
File image of bicyclists taking part in Boise's Tour de Fat.

BOISE — If you've ever taken a bike ride in the Boise area, you likely know the frustration caused by those pesky puncturevines, also known as goatheads - small, thorny pods that attack bicycle tires, causing flats, and often ruining your ride.

Now the Boise cycling community is embracing the puncturing pest by making it the mascot of a new bicycle-centric festival in downtown Boise.

Described by organizers as "Wonderfully weird," the first Boise Goathead Festival is set to take place on Aug. 3 and 4 at Cecil D. Andrus Park (formerly Capitol Park) in front of the Idaho Statehouse.

The event replaces Tour de Fat, which announced in April that it would not return to the City of Trees in 2018.

Organizers of the new festival say it is hyper-local, with local sponsors, and all profits going to support local bicycle charities. The goal of the inaugural event is to raise $50,000 for Boise nonprofits.

"Instead of popping tires on August 3rd and 4th, Boise’s most despised invasive species will be giving back to Boise’s bicycle nonprofits and lending its hand in transforming Boise into the Bicycle Capital of America," reads BGF's event description.

The cycling community has been drumming up support for the event all month long with a goathead collection campaign that encourages people to pull goatheads and turn them in for beverage tokens that they can use at Goathead Fest.

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

The two-day event begins with a launch party Friday evening. Saturday's festivities include a pedal-powered parade in morning and the festival itself in the afternoon.


  • Friday, Aug. 3 and Saturday, Aug. 4
  • Cecil D. Andrus Park (in front of Idaho Statehouse)
  • Event website

Launch Party

  • Friday, Aug. 3, 4 p.m. - 10 p.m.
  • Cecil D. Andrus Park
  • Enjoy live music in Cecil D. Andrus Park as you get ready for Saturday's fun. Artists include Summer Cannibals, Project Flux, Cello Joe & his bike-powered sound system, Eleven & Jason D.

Pedal-Powered Parade

Boise Goathead Fest

  • Aug. 4, Noon - 5 p.m.
  • Cecil D. Andrus Park
  • BGF goes into full swing starting at noon, and features local food and beverage vendors, live music and entertainment, and a grand finale that organizers say "will knock your Pedal-Powered socks off." Stage entertainment includes, Wet City Rockers, Juice, The Dance Commander, Psych Sirens of Radio Boise, and more.


There are numerous opportunities to get involved with the inaugural Boise Goathead Fest, ranging from helping with event setup and teardown to bike valets and recycling gurus. If you or someone you know are interested in volunteering, click here for more information.

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