Boise Goathead Fest

This year, the Boise Goathead Fest will take place at small parties spread out across the City of Trees.

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Boise Goathead Fest Overhauled for 2020

Goatheads are the bane of the existence of every cyclist in the City of Trees, and like a lot of social ills, they hit (or, rather, puncture the tires of) marginalized communities most of all.

Few people know this better than Jimmy Hallyburton, executive director of the Boise Bicycle Project. When Boise Weekly spoke with him last, he said one of the driving forces behind the Boise Goathead Fest, now going into its third year, was a plan to pull up the weeds that for years had flattened the tires of the bikes BBP gave to kids in need.

As in years past, the organizers of the festival have called on Boiseans to root out goatheads where they find them, but in 2020, they’ve taken up a new challenge: ensuring the festival is fun and enlightening for all comers while keeping people safe during a global pandemic.

This year’s festival, which takes place on Saturday, Aug. 1, has been wrapped around “Patch Parties.” Starting at 10:30 a.m., festival-goers can drop by their local party, where they can order food from the festival’s food partners, participate in games and other activities, get photos taken and pick up a map directing them to other parties set up across Boise. According to the event’s Facebook page, there should be a party within 3 miles of most Boiseans. See online for details.

The new, decentralized format is at odds with the last two years, in which riders gathered at Cecil D. Andrus Park for a massive group ride, live music and activities. Though there will be plenty of riders on the streets during this year’s festival, the activities have been optimized for social distancing, and many of them can take place without participants ever leaving their bikes.

While Goathead Fest organizers have said the event will be a “community-wide experience (that doesn’t involve Zoom),” they’ve partnered with a local media partner, Radio Boise, which will broadcast the party’s emcee and plenty of music to keep riders on their pedals from 9-5.

—Harrison Berry

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