Iowa City Getting RAGBRAI Ready

posted by WMT News / KCRG-TV9 -

IOWA CITY, Iowa (KCRG-TV9) -- Iowa City's theme for its RAGBRAI visit is "Book it to Iowa City." It's a nod to the city's status as a U.S. City of Literature by UNESCO and as a place of learning for more than 30,000 University of Iowa students.

RAGBRAI stands for the Register's Annual Great Bike Ride Across Iowa.

It's been 42 years since Iowa City last hosted RAGBRAI and organizers say this year will be one for the books.

"Good things come to those who wait," said City Manager Geoff Fruin.

The University of Iowa will be on display as much as Iowa City will. Expect black and gold and lots of Hawkeye spirit.

"In Iowa City it's almost expected," said Josh Schamberger of the Iowa City-Coralville Convention and Visitors Bureau. "The opportunity to really show off that sort of Hawkeye atmosphere that you only see at a Hawkeye football game or a wrestling event is going to be great when you combine it with a downtown block party."

While there's no official route through the city at this time, the city says says riders will be entering and exiting through Sand Road. The owner of a candy store on the Ped Mall says he's excited.

"It's really great," said Saf Ibrik. "It brings a lot of people to the United States and the world to visit the state of Iowa and it's great for a community, like for example, Iowa City."

The city will halt construction that night in anticipation of more than 10 thousand visitors. But Ibrik says he's confident the crowds won't mind a little caution tape and orange cones.

"When there's a party coming together they'll find a way to get together whether there's construction or no construction. Hopefully they'll come out and visit us over here," said Ibrik.

Proceeds of this year's RAGBRAI will be going to United Way of Johnson and Washington counties.

Organizers said there will be several live stages with musical performances, games and lots of food. But they aren't announcing the headliner yet. Three years ago when Coralville hosted the overnight spot, Cheap Trick was the big act.

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