Fruita celebrates 19-year tradition

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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. Fruita is known by biking enthusiasts as a Mountain Biking Mecca and this weekend they’re taking the time to celebrate with their 19th annual Fruita Fat Tire Festival.

"Whether you are from here or not, you mention the word Fruita, people know it exists,” Specialized Bikes Vendor Dane Garvik said. “So it's just a fun time."

The festivities kicked off Thursday night with expos, skills camps and a VIP party complete with New Belgium beer. There were dozens of vendors set up in downtown Fruita today. Many traveled from around the country to participate in what is known as one of the top expos in the state.

"It gives a chance for all of the other manufactures to be here with us and give the customer an idea of, going apples to apples, what we have to offer and what they have to offer,” Garvik said.

Mountain bikers can also spend the entire weekend riding hundreds of miles of world class trails. The festival does also draws in tourism and helps boost local businesses.

"As far as I know the trails made a big difference in changing the economy here and bringing a lot of tourism through here, and kind of bringing life back to a town that was losing it,” SR Suntours vendor Andrew Fiore said.

The Fruita Fat Tire festival has also been accepting donations to help expand the area's recreation opportunities. Fruita riders and trail builders have been planning new routes that have already been approved. Money that's raised this weekend will help fund the creation of more trails for mountain bike enthusiasts around the country to come enjoy.

“It shaped my life,” Fiore said. “I went to college in places that have good trails and I live in places that have good trails, so it's kind of the center of my life."

About 50 of the industries largest companies were there to show off their products. The event will continue for the rest of the weekend.

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