COUNCIL BLUFFS — Preparations are moving well for this year's RAGBRAI, which will start at the Mid-America Center in Council Bluffs.
“We're getting staffed with volunteers and real close in announcing our main-event entertainment,” said Barry Cleaveland, chairman of the event's executive committee.
Housing options for the participants are being lined up, along with getting campgrounds ready, Cleaveland said.
“I think we're right on schedule.”
Council Bluffs is again the starting point for the annual bicycle ride across Iowa. The ride begins early July 21. An estimated 15,000 riders are expected to begin the ride with an additional 5,000 people in support roles, Cleaveland said.
From the Mid-America Center, the participants will ride through town up to Underwood, Neola and Harlan the first day.
A big day of entertainment is planned at the Mid-America Center on July 20, Cleaveland said. Approximately 16 food vendors are expected to set up shop that day, and a bike expo is also planned, he said.
Besides the main stage for the top act, a second stage will be installed for local entertainers performing throughout that afternoon, he said. The main concert will begin about 8 p.m., Cleaveland said. An additional 5,000 people will probably attend the free concert besides the 20,000 riders and support personnel.
The traditional bike tire dip will also take place July 20 along the banks of the Missouri River at River's Edge Park.
Website available for Bluffs riders, residents
The Council Bluffs RAGBRAI committee announced that www.councilbluffsragbrai.com is online to provide information for riders and local residents.
“We encourage our residents to log on because we are looking for housing and volunteers from our community. This website is a resource of information for our residents as well as for riders,” said Barry Cleaveland, executive committee chairman.
Included are tabs for camping information, housing, long-term parking, vendor and volunteer information. The official 2013 Council Bluffs RAGBRAI T-shirt can also be ordered on the site.
“The unusual and highly desirable shirt includes a solar-sensitive panel,” said Kathy Fiscus, chair of publicity for Council Bluffs RAGBRAI. “The Council Bluffs official RAGBRAI pig riding a bicycle expands into many colorful panels of the pig when the shirt is exposed to sunlight.”
— World-Herald News Service