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Fat & Skinny Tire Festival – A favorite summertime kick-off event in Kosciusko County

Tuesday, May 16, 2023

By: Ashley Bishop, KEDCO Intern

This story is part of a summer blog series focused on experiences in Kosciusko County through the lens of KEDCO Communications Intern, Ashley Bishop. As a K-County native and senior at Butler University, Ashley shares her inside scoop on things to do and places to see, as a 20-something living life fully in Kosciusko County.

If there’s one part of my summer that has truly become a staple of my life, it would be the Fat & Skinny Tire Festival. Between partaking in some of the events and getting a behind-the-scenes look in meetings and by volunteering, it is an event I genuinely look forward to year after year.

This year’s festival kicks off Friday, May 19 and ends Sunday, May 21. The timing of this fun-filled weekend is important as it’s at the end of Bicycle Safety Month. You can start celebrating by biking to work for National Bike to Work Day! The official kick off starts at the Village at Winona for the Critical Mass ride starting at 6:00 p.m. This year is celebrating the 20th anniversary of Kosciusko County Velo (KCV) which is the county’s bike club and it will be the 18th annual festival. 

The festival is loaded with activities for all to enjoy, including live music Friday and Saturday night with and beers to try. I suggest trying beer from the famous and quirky Goshen Brewing Company beer bike. There are kids activities every day with the most stuff available for the kiddos on Saturday which includes face painting, lawn games, an obstacle course,and crafts. For biking events, there are mountain bike, road, and BMX races as well as bike tours and criteriums. 

Racing on Friday downtown is back, but with a change! Traditionally, riders could participate in a time trial, but this year there will be a half-mile downtown criterium road race. Mixing with the food trucks and festivities, Friday night is sure to be loaded with excitement for all. 

My personal favorite part of the festival is the critical mass ride that takes you from the Village of Winona to Downtown Warsaw. Almost every year, my dad and I do this together and enjoy the festivities and food while hanging out with close family friends. As a slight foodie, I love a good food truck moment and really enjoyed Shawnanigans last year.

I have attended every year since I was around 13 years old and have been volunteering since I was 14. So, every year without fail, I’d spend a weekend in mid-to-late May with all the biking community, having a genuinely good time. Within this community the KCV bike club has created, I found a sort of second family.

Stay tuned…Part 2 of this mini series on Fat & Skinny will come out this Thursday, May 18.

Learn more about KEDCO and how the organization is making an impact in Kosciusko County by visiting Connect with KEDCO on Facebook, Linkedin and Instagram @kosciuskoedc.

Pictured (L to R): Current KCV President Mike Cusick (back), Ashley, Rob Bishop (Ashley’s father), Grace Bishop (Ashley’s sister), and Roger Lezark at Fat & Skinny ’15 in 2018.