With RAGBRAI back on the schedule this summer, eight Iowa communities are making plans to host thousands of bicycle riders from around the world as overnight stops on the statewide ride.
LeeAnna Boone, director of the Anamosa Chamber of Commerce, says they were named as a host city for the 2020 edition of the popular ride, which was canceled due to COVID-19.
“It gave us a whole other year to think about things, have a little more planning, but actually, everything that we had started last year fell right into place this year,” Boone says. “We just picked up where we left off and it all worked well.”
The Jones County town will be the sixth overnight stop on the eight-day ride that treks 454 miles from western Iowa to the Mississippi River. It will be Anamosa’s fourth time hosting RAGBRAI and there’ll be plenty of live music to celebrate the occasion.
“We decided last year to just go with local bands, stick with local people,” Boone says. “That’s what they encouraged this year, to have more entertainment. Now, instead of one stage we’ll have two and we’ll have more community members be involved.”
Boone says having the opportunity to host thousands of visitors is something Anamosa businesses are welcoming with open arms. “This year especially, after everything our businesses have gone through the last year with the shutdowns, all the problems COVID caused, this is going to be a great boost,” Boone says. “They’re looking forward to it and we’re going to have fun with our theme. We’re encouraging our businesses to promote that in their business.”
The long ride will start July 25th in Le Mars and will pedal through Sac City, Fort Dodge, Iowa Falls, Waterloo, Anamosa and DeWitt before concluding July 31st in Clinton.
(By Janelle Tucker, KMCH, Manchester)