18th Annual Fat Tire Fest: Celebrating the Arkansas Mountain Biking Culture

It's no secret that the mountain biking culture in Arkansas is completely booming. Find yourself amongst the hype this weekend within the steep hills and colorful streets of Eureka Springs' 18th Annual Fat Tire Festival.

This much awaited culture-packed mountain biking festival is set to begin Friday, July 15. Bringing riders, spectators, and party goers in from all the surrounding states, this three day festival includes downhill, super-D, short track, and cross country races.

Not a racer but interested in the laid-back culture of Arkansas mountain biking? The event is made truly festive through group rides, beer gardens, social gatherings at quintessential Eureka Springs venues, and a silent auction. From the stoked up perspective of FC Team mountain biker, Dustin Slaughter, "Fat Tire Fest brings together so many in our community, that wouldn't otherwise be together outside of the shop. It's the best Arkansas mountain bike of the year, it'd be a shame for an enthusiast to not be apart of it!"

 Weekend Run Down

Friday: Short Track Day

After practice runs and registration, the festival will kick off with nighttime short track races around Lake Leatherwood. An after party and awards ceremony will also help emphasize the festival's beginnings and the weekend of fun to come.

Saturday: Super D x Downhill x Community Gatherings

Saturday morning will include practice rides for the anticipated downhill races (at 10a) and Super D races (at 4p). Downhill enthusiast, Dustin Slaughter, made it clear that the downhill racing is what drives him back year after year as it's the only festival in Arkansas with a downhill event.

Midday, the Big Town Ride invites riders of all skill levels to follow OORC / Carroll County members for a 5-15 mile labyrinth of single track, alleys, and back streets only locals know about. Group riders will choose ride level-- avid, chill, or ladies only. The ride will close with a cold beverage at Brews and a sneak peek of the evening’s silent auction items.

As mentioned, you don’t have to be a hard rider to enjoy yourself at this festival. The fun will continue though the evening during an array of Fayettechill Saturday Socials including a silent auction, raffle, and an after party + live tunes at Chelsea’s. Support the Carroll County (CC) chapter of the OORC, a non profit organization focused on building and maintaining soft surface trails in Carroll County, with your bid on any silent auction item or raffle ticket. Lookout for the Fayettechill silent auction items-- a men’s & women’s mountain biking baskets including this season’s primo riding jersey, the 29er and other Fayettechill tech apparel.

Sunday: XC Day

The weekend will close out with a day of cross country riding. The morning race will start at one of Eureka Spring’s beautiful parks, Basin Park. Throughout the weekend, bask in the sun within the lawns of Lake Leatherwood, another one of Eureka's gems. The Core Brewing Co. Beer Garden will be open for lake goers all weekend.

Check here for the full schedule.

Don't miss post-race awards ceremonies for each race category. Kids involved can look forward to a kids cross country challenge, rodeo, and fun rides.

For more info check out the facbeook event page and check options for lodging here. We're so excited for the good vibes & celebration of our local mountain biking culture. See y'all in Eureka! 

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