What do you get when you pair a white elephant party, lots of alcohol, "World Famous" fruitcake and a shiny new fanny pack? If you're Boisean Nick Yates, you get the seeds of inspiration for International Fanny Pack Day.
On a fateful December eve a few years back, Yates received his first fanny pack, which he promptly stuffed with fruitcake on his way to catch the bus in Portland, Ore. When Yates was stopped by a homeless man on the street, he unzipped his pack and handed the man the contents.
"He was like 'Nice fanny pack, chief' and I was like 'Thanks.' I took the fruitcake out, which was wrapped in tinfoil, and he made one more comment toward my fanny pack," said Yates. "I walked down the street half a block and I hear him go 'A fucking fruitcake?'"
Somehow, this random exchange forever linked fanny packs and food charity in Yates' mind. He began to hand out extra street cart food to Portland's homeless while sporting his signature pack. When Yates moved to Boise, he realized he had to keep the fanny pack tradition going. Three years ago, he began International Fanny Pack Day with a few friends. Now, the event has blossomed into an annual charity event for the Idaho Foodbank at Falcon Tavern--a place where passionate packers can celebrate their pouch pride over a few pints.
"This year, we've publicized it a lot better to raise awareness that this is a food drive," said Yates. "People should come down to the Falcon in their new location and just partake and show off their fanny packs--whether it's a creative design that you've made off the top of your head or an iconic New Kids On The Block neon-colored one that you have from back in the day."
Don't have a fanny pack of your own to fill with fruitcake? Yates suggests Fred Meyer for a classy leather one, Walmart for a cheap one or eBay for a Bedazzled one.
Saturday, March 13, 7 p.m., FREE with a non-perishable food item, Falcon Tavern, 705 W. Bannock St., 208-947-3111. For more information, search "International Fanny Pack Day" on Facebook.