Hiawatha Awarded RAGBRAI Overnight Stop!
We are pleased to announce that Hiawatha will be an overnight stop during RAGBRAI 2015! RAGBRAI, the Biggest and Oldest bicycle touring event in the world.
City Administrator, Kim Downs and Parks and Recreation Director, Kelly Friedl attended the RAGBRAI announcement on Saturday, January 24th in Des Moines at the Iowa Events Center. Hiawatha will be the sixth stop of the week on Thursday, July 23rd. About 15,000 riders from across the country and even other continents will take a two wheel tour traveling 462 miles and nearly 16,000 feet of climbing. The 2015 ride falls in the middle of the road for difficulty, relative to past rides. The overnight towns stick slightly north of state center for five days dipping just south of Interstate 80. The riders will spend their overnights in Sioux City, Storm Lake, Fort Dodge, Eldora, Cedar Falls, Hiawatha and Iowa River Landing/Coralville before the ride ends in Davenport.
RAGBRAI has made one stop in Hiawatha throughout their travels in 2004. We are excited to show off the best that our community has to offer because so much has changed since then. This event will also give us an opportunity to see our community work together as a whole and when we do this, it will make for a successful RAGBRAI event. RAGBRAI additional benefits is the economic impact it will have on our community with thousands of visitors in our town all in one day. We had our first meeting the the RAGBRAI event specialist on February 4th. An advisory committee of community leaders were formed to serve like a board of directors in overseeing RAGBRAI's visit here. There will be four to six co-chairs of a special RAGBRAI committee who will help coordinate the planning and preparations, working with about 20 committees focusing on different aspects of the visit. Then the RAGBRAI committee will begin coordinating plans for campgrounds, entertainment, food opportunities and all the other logistical arrangements.
The July 23, 2015 stop will be the second time that Hiawatha has hosted RAGBRAI since 2004. The City is excited to get the community involved with plenty of opportunities available over the next six months. Organizers are planning a brief public program February 17th at 6:00 p.m. in the Hiawatha Community Center to provide more information about RAGBRAI's overnight stop in Hiawatha. The event will be an opportunity to learn more about the entertainment, housing, food, planning, and other aspects of the event, or an opportunity to volunteer. For more information about the event, contact Kelly Friedl, Hiawatha Parks and Recreation Director at firstname.lastname@example.org or (319) 393-1515 X 251.
We will be starting the application process for prospective vendors March 31, 2015 but are not accepting vendor information/applications before then.
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