RAGBRAI town meeting held

May 25, 2017

RAGBRAI town meeting held

The Spencer RAGBRAI Team conducted it's town meeting Tuesday night at the Stables on the Clay County Fairgrounds to talk to the community about everything planned during RAGBRAI's overnight stop in town on July 23.

“A majority of the riders are not from Iowa so that's why this is such a huge thing for Spencer because we want those people to come back. We want those people to vacation here, visit here, live, work or play here, and so it's up to us to create the best event that we can so that those people have a great favorable perception of the town of Spencer and we think that we can make that happen,” hospitality co-chair Jill Barr said.

Before the meeting started, committee members had the opportunity to visit with those gathered regarding the continued need for volunteers. The attendees were able to ask questions and sign up for volunteer positions. The Iowa State University Extension & Outreach of Clay County was there to teach kids bike safety as well as show them the importance of wearing a helmet.

The town meeting was the first opportunity for the community to view and purchase the official Spencer RAGBRAI T-shirt.

“We appreciate your support in wearing these T-shirts,” Barr said. “It really creates a cool look in town and creates a sense of unity and excitement for the event. We hope that you will all get a T-shirt and wear it with pride.”

Shirts will be available for purchase now until RAGBRAI at the Spencer Chamber of Commerce, Buena Vista University in the Gateway North Shopping Center, Squire Shoppe and Bikes, Boards & Shades all located in Spencer. Costs for shirts are $15 for adults, $10 for youth. The committee is also selling bicycle chain bracelets for $2.

Entertainment the night of the event starts at 5 p.m. at the Clay County Fairgrounds grandstand with the Spencer Municipal Band. Additional acts include alt-country artists Dan Olsen from Sack of Lions, Ryan Osbahr from Poney Creek and the headlining act The Johnny Holm Band sponsored by AARP. There will also be a beverage garden stretching from the commercial building to the grandstand. A total of 150 volunteers are needed at the beverage garden to check identification, sell tickets, take tickets and serve beverages.

Volunteers are also needed to provide housing for RAGBRAI riders the night of July 23.

“We are in desperate need of housing for the bike riders. We have over 150 groups who have requested housing,” Katy Guinn, housing co-chair, said. “What that involves is letting people be in your yard and use your restroom or possibly let them come into your house if you have extra bedrooms or if you have floor space, letting them stay in your house. We've got a lot of requests for air conditioning and showers. Right now we have about 10 houses that have come forward and have agreed to host riders so we definitely need many more.”

Riders in groups of 50 or more will be staying at the fairgrounds, Sacred Heart, the YMCA, the parks, the middle school and the Spencer Golf and Country Club.

“This effort is all about volunteers. This will be our fifth time to host RAGBRAI and we've done such a fantastic job in the past that they want to come back. Because of the grounds that we have here and the accommodations that we have in Spencer we are attractive to RAGBRAI,” Spencer RAGBRAI Advisory Board member Bill Campbell said. “It does take volunteers. It's going to take 400 to 500-plus volunteers and that's not an exaggeration whatsoever. We need to get those volunteers soon so we can get them situated, in place, in the different categories.”

“Let's show people how Iowa nice is and let's show everyone how magnificent the people of Spencer are,” Barr said.

To sign up to volunteer, go to www.spencerragbrai.com. An official route map will be posted on the website after June 1.

Source: Spencer Daily Reporter | Photo: Leah Gage

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