Eureka Springs, Arkansas, is a town with a population of just over 2,000 people, but what it lacks in size, it makes up for in pure mountain beauty and summer time activities. One activity in particular, the Fat Tire Festival, or Fatty Fest as it’s affectionately called, is a three-day festival in Eureka Springs celebrating mountain biking and everything that goes along with it. The annual festival is in it’s 16th year and the 2014 version will be held July 18-20. Not a competitive biker? That’s okay. The festival hosts both competitive and non-competitive events for all ages and skill levels. David Renko, the Fat Tire Festival Director, sat down to give us a little more information about the event.
RAL: What is Fat Tire Festival?
DR: The best way to describe “Fatty Fest” is a fun and casual family event. For those looking to compete at the festival, there will be a three-day cross country competition, short track, Super D, point-to-point cross country race and more. For competitive cyclists looking to improve their rankings, this is one of the few events nationwide that is a USA Cycling permitted event. For those not looking to compete in the events, we have group rides throughout Eureka Springs for all riders, a kid’s fun ride, a kids rodeo, and of course viewings of all the competitions. With all of this cycling going on, participants are bound to work up an appetite. We typically encourage festival goers to support local restaurants, especially Angler’s Grille, Sparky’s Roadhouse Caribe, and Local Flavor. These establishments all support the Fat Tire Festival.
RAL: I’m traveling to the event, where can I stay?
DR: Because our draw is not just from the local community, finding enough lodging is very important. Land of Nod, Hidden Hollow Cabins, and Inn of the Ozarks are just a few options for where to stay during the Fat Tire Festival. Being a tourist destination, Eureka Springs has many different options for unique lodging. From small inns, to big hotels, and even cabins in the woods, you are sure to find the perfect spot. However, lodging does hit full occupancy during the event, so plan ahead and book your stay early.The best way to describe “Fatty Fest” is a fun and casual family event. For those looking to compete at the festival, there will be a three-day cross country competition, short track, Super D, point-to-point cross country race and more.
“The best way to describe “Fatty Fest” is a fun and casual family event. For those looking to compete at the festival, there will be a three-day cross country competition, short track, Super D, point-to-point cross country race and more.”
RAL: Why hold this festival?
DR: We want to draw attention to both the sport of mountain biking and the town of Eureka Springs. The Fat Tire Festival brings attention to this resort community as a biking destination, and to their parks and soft trails around the community. Eureka Springs has 1,800 acres of park land, which roughly equals about an acre of parkland per resident! There has been an explosion of new trails in the last 10 years, specifically for mountain biking, making 35+ miles of soft surface trails open to hikers and bikers. The festival also supports the Ozark Off Road Cyclists, a club that builds and maintains mountain biking trails in Arkansas. This event is great for our community and is fun for the whole family. So come enjoy the fun, get to know beautiful Eureka springs, get active with biking and enjoy the outdoors.
RAL: Who is putting on Fatty Fest?
DR: The festival is put on by Progressive Trail Design, LLC, a trail building company based out of Arkansas’ Ozark Mountains. They construct mountain bike trails, courses, and facilities all over the nation such as slopestyle courses, pump tracks, skill courses, bike parks, and much more.
David Renko is Trail Foreman/Event Director for Progressive Trail Design, LLC. If you would like to learn more about them visit their website.
To learn more about the Fat Tire Festival and to see a full list of the events and attractions, visit the event website.