Help to roll out the welcome mat for RAGBRAI

July 19, 2017

Help to roll out the welcome mat for RAGBRAI

Spencer is used to welcoming crowds to our city. After all, every September we host the biggest and best county fair in the Midwest. Our community just seems to expand effortlessly every year, putting out the welcome mat for those 300,000 visitors.

This Sunday, we're going to see a similar influx, as RAGBRAI rolls into town for an overnight stop. Instead of trailers hauling livestock, it will be bikes flooding our streets.

Instead of boots and Wranglers, these folks will be attired in lycra and helmets.

While I hear the grumblers grumbling, as they often do, about the gridlock and crowds, I want folks to think about what an opportunity this visit represents.

RAGBRAI has become not just an Iowa, or American phenomenon — it's a global wave of humanity that surges across our state every summer. For many of these folks, this one week is their introduction to our state. It's our chance to let those folks see just how special Spencer is.

I'm in the business of sharing information, and of helping businesses market themselves. As such, I see RAGBRAI as a golden opportunity to leave an incredible impression on a pretty prized target market. There are a lot of go-getters who make the ride. Entrepreneurs, industrial bigwigs, eager young business persons, and family folk who are looking for a great place to settle in.

Certainly, that's a group we want to impress.

That means putting on our "Iowa Nice" attitude of helpfulness and care. That means thanking the visitors for taking some time in our hometown. That means a smile and a wave. That means volunteering to help the local RAGBRAI committee ensure their stop here is smooth and fun.

Point out some of our historic sites. Brush up on the story of the great Spencer fire and resulting unique and beautiful architecture that sprouted up from the ashes. Share your secret spot to grab a bite or find some shade. Make a connection with a rider or two — who knows, you may make a friend.

The party that Spencer is putting on Sunday isn't just for riders. Area residents are encouraged to head out to the Clay County Fairgrounds to take part in the festivities. There's a full slate of entertainment on Sunday evening, food stands and food trucks will be out, with items to hold us over until the fair opens its gates in September, and the people-watching will be fantastic! Pack a lawn chair and watch the fun!

The preparations for this visit have been exhaustive, and the various committees deserve our thanks. They've given up a lot of their free time to ensure our community is shown in its best light. They could still use a hand. It takes a lot of people to roll out a welcome mat this big. If you've got an hour or two, or four, or even more, please consider lending a hand. There are a wide variety of tasks that need to be done.

It's simple to volunteer. There's a link on the Spencer RAGBRAI website at Simply click on the red "volunteers needed" button on the top right, and let them know how you can help. Then, get ready to "Kick your wheels up," for a special 24 hours in Spencer!

Source: Spencer Daily Reporter

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