KOSCIUSKO — Entering its 16th year, the team at KCV Cycling and the Fat & Skinny Tire Fest invite you to celebrate with us at this year’s festival.
Presented by K21 Health Foundation, the Fat & Skinny Tire Fest now enters its 16th year as a favorite event for locals and Midwesterners alike — especially for fans of bicycling. Kosciusko County Velo has produced the event since 2004 as a way to showcase the multiple benefits of bicycling in our own community. Over the years, the multi-day festival has expanded its purpose from just competitive racing to economic development, community fellowship, and awareness and education of the benefits of bicycling, with a desire to encourage expanded investments in bicycling and pedestrian-friendly infrastructure. And 2019 will be no different.
“Our hope is that our entire community embraces whatever healthy living opportunities are available to them, and interests them. Supporting family-friendly events like Fat & Skinny Tire Fest fits well with our goals in helping to create a vibrant community,” said Rich Haddad, President and CEO of K21 Health Foundation, the returning title sponsor of the festival.
“We are excited to expand the festival again this year! In collaboration with the City of Warsaw and downtown partners, we’ll offer kids events, plus a live music tent featuring The Sleepovers, with more food and beverage options on Friday night, to go along with the family-friendly Community Critical Mass Ride, the ever-popular BMX Stunt Show, in addition to the highly competitive 3.2 mile road racing time trial starting in downtown Warsaw which kicks off the three-race, Zimmer Biomet Road Omnium,” said Curt Barkey, Fat & Skinny Tire Fest Co-Director and KCV Board Member.
Saturday’s activities include DINO series mountain bike racing in the Winona Lake Trails, a 19, 39, 63 or 101-mile casual road riding tour throughout the rolling farmland of southeast Kosciusko County. Several kids activities and safety clinics, along with a family-friendly scavenger hunt and two more BMX stunt shows will keep the little ones busy. History buffs will enjoy the Historical Winona Lake Town Tour – a casual 3.5-mile ride with numerous stops at historical points within and around the Village that has made Winona Lake what it is today. Road racing continues south of town, starting at Claypool Elementary School, where racers will compete on a new 8-mile course, completing multiple laps depending on their skill level. Before the evening’s entertainment gets kicked-off in the Village, hosted by Cerulean, mountain bike racers will have their second chance at glory with the Mountain Bike Four Cross, a head-to-head race on the Hire Park BMX track, or a Short Track XC race on and around the BMX track, to go along with the added BMX race for all ages to participate in.
Sunday includes a full day of road racing on the favorite 0.5 mile Island course, as well as the Kids Race, and the celebrity beach cruiser corporate challenge race – the Orthopedic Cup. In addition, Mad Anthony’s will be hosting a Beer Garden on Sunday afternoon as spectators take in the days racing. Additionally, KCV has sweetened the prize winnings for the road racers by adding a multi-race competition called the Omnium and equal payouts for the women’s fields. Racers will score points for their finishes in all three of the road racing events through the weekend. The racers with the most points will win the overall Omnium competition.
Finally, on Sunday, we’re bringing in professional mountain biker Jeff Lenosky to provide two mountain biking skills clinics. One at 10 a.m. for beginning to intermediate level riders, and one at 1 p.m. for intermediate to advanced riders. Each person will get pointers and tips from Jeff on how to get better at certain skills and how to become a better mountain biker in general.
“Once again, we’re looking forward to hosting another exciting year of our all-size-tires bicycling shindig in northern Indiana with a few thousand friends!” said Greg Demopoulos, KCV Cycling President and Fat & Skinny Tire Fest Co-Director. “We feel there’s no better way to celebrate National Bicycle Month and raise awareness for the many benefits of bicycling by getting the community involved and taking pride in one of the midwest’s best weekend festivals. Please help us spread the word (#FSTF16) and come out to the event. Together, through events and activities like this, we can help make our community a wonderful place to live, work, play, and visit.”
A special thank you to our sponsors and volunteers. This year over 254 volunteers will help from Thursday through Sunday to make Fat & Skinny Tire Fest come together, along with the 25 person planning committee that has been meeting since October of last year.