New Belgium. the brewing company behind Fat Tire beer, are once again bringing the Tour De Fat by Minneapolis this weekend. The free bike-centric extravaganza is a parade, concert, and overall celebration of all things bicycle. The website details the 10 Commandments of the Tour De Fat, encouraging participation in the parade and costumes, highlighting the event’s non-profit orientation (all proceeds go to biking and environmental charities), and reminding you to get there early. The event begins in Loring Park at 9 am with a parade, with circus acts and music interspersed throughout, culminating in the symbolic gesture of changing attitudes towards transportation: One person will be awarded a brand new Fat Tire bike in exchange for the deed to their car. Chicago’s Mucca Pazza (pictured above) will be performing afterward: The 30 piece “circus punk marching band” are amazing live, putting on boisterous performances that makes you wish your high school marching band was anywhere near as awesome.
Since the Tour De Fat is absolutely free, that should free up some money for you to attend the Basilica Block Party later in the evening. This annual event, now in its 16th year, is always something to look forward to, when Cities 97 brings big name national acts to come play in front of the Basilica of St. Mary in Minneapolis. Alt-rock heavyweights like Weezer, Spoon, Barenaked Ladies and Guster are all on the bill this year, plus several other local and regional acts, filling three stages over the course of two days. The theme this year is “musical confessions”: The Block Party website invites you to confess your music-themed sins, such as wanting to date the Backstreet Boys when you were a preteen or knowing all the lyrics to Mr. Roboto. Absolve yourself by supporting great music, a sense of community, and contributing to the Basilica, with part of the proceeds going towards ongoing renovations. Tickets are $45 for a single night, $80 for both Friday and Saturday; the band schedules can be found here.