Newton’s RAGBRAI Facebook page shows this photo from 2006.

Thousands of bicyclists who are pedaling across Iowa this week will celebrate reaching the halfway point tonight in Newton.

The Jasper County town last hosted a RAGBRAI overnight stop in 2006. Danielle Rogers, Newton’s Community Marketing Manager, is hoping people from around central Iowa will join the RAGBRAI riders and take part in all the activities and events that have been planned.

“I’ve seen this picture multiple times of what the courthouse square looked like back in 2006 and I would love to see that amount of people back down there, enjoying themselves, just having a blast, and celebrating all there is to be proud of in Newton,” Rogers said.

The bicycle ride today from Ames covers 51 miles. When the riders arrive in Newton, they’ll find activities all over town. The live music entertainment downtown begins at 3 p.m. There’s a Beatles tribute band at 6 p.m., followed by a tribute to Elton John and Billy Joel at 7:20 p.m.

“And then our big headline act, kind of tying in with our Aloha Mahalo theme, is A1A – the official and original Jimmy Buffett tribute show,” Rogers said. On Thursday, RAGBRAI riders will leave Newton and pedal 68 miles to the next overnight stop in Sigourney.

(By Randy Van, KCOB, Newton)