Boise Goathead Fest celebrates the hard work of community volunteers with a unique party

Posted at 10:57 AM, Aug 26, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-26 14:06:47-04

BOISE, Idaho — Every summer volunteers and community members remove goatheads in Boise, this pesky puncture vine is notorious for causing flat tires for cyclists.

We caught up with the volunteers as they worked next to Victory Road, this area is overgrown with goatheads and an important area to clean up because we saw children riding their bikes to school on sidewalks filled with goatheads.

This year the weed warriors pulled more than 5,000 pounds, compared to around 12,000 a year ago. There are a couple of reasons for this, volunteers got an earlier start this summer and were able to pull goatheads when they were smaller. When they returned to neighborhoods they had worked on in the past, they didn't find any new weeds.

"We have some neighborhoods we started pulling five years ago that hardly have any goatherds growing in them at all," said Jimmy Hallyburton of the Boise Bicycle Project. "That means kids that live in that area can ride their bikes to school, community centers and to the library and not have to worry about flat tires, so we know what we are doing is actually working.”

The hard work of the volunteers is recognized in the Boise Goathead Fest, which is now in its fifth year of bringing the biking community together in Boise.

"At this point it has grown into one of the largest bicycle festivals in the country," said Hallyburton. "We get about 6,000 people pedaling in the pedal powered parade."

Costumes are encouraged for the parade that kicks off with a party at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, Hallyburton asks people to register for the free parade online, but there is an option for donations to the cause with a six dollar recommended donation.

100 percent of the beer sales during the festival from Lost Grove Brewing goes to the Boise Bicycle Project.

And Hallyburton said the event also features something for all ages, "No matter what kind of bike rider you are, no matter what age, it’s a place for everyone. It is a place for the entire biking community to gather together and celebrate this community we have."

The Boise Goathead Fest replaced the Tour De Fat festival that used to come to the city of trees. When that ended, organizers with the Boise Goathead Fest created their own festival and it has grown into a classic event downtown.