In Le Mars, it's
all about the ice cream. Riders will receive red, white and blue Bomb
Pops - made in town, of course - at the Blue Bunny Ice Cream Social from to If patriotic Popsicles aren't the No. 1 choice
among rides for a cool treat, vendors will be on hand to scoop up a variety
of other delights from Well's Dairy. The national anthem will play during the
town's opening ceremonies, "Red White and Bike", and a typical
Fourth of July tradition - fireworks - will light up the sky that night.
in Sheldon will be a reflection of the town. "We're really about our
faith and the people of our town and our troops and our veterans, " said
co-chairwoman of the entertainment committee. "The Passion of the
Christ" will be shown, and a worship service will be held. The town's
welcome will include veterans and the Army Ceremonial Brass Quintet. "We
hold our troops close to our heart," Postma
To get in the spirit for Estherville, riders can warm up their vocal chords
with holiday carols. Estherville's "Blizzard
of Bikes" will transport riders ahead - or behind - two seasons as
snowflakes line the trees in FortDefiance, where riders
enter Estherville. Around town, riders will see inflatable snowmen, wooden
snowmen in planters, snowmen made out of bike tires and more. "It'll
look like winter wonderland," said Dusty Heland,
executive director of the chamber of commerce. Fortunately, it won't feel
Concerned about surviving
the jungle? Put your fears to rest. Survival packs await. Algona, expects
you to "outparty, outplay and outpedal". The Algona RAGBRAI committee is preparing
a gab for each rider that will include water, bananas, Band-Aids, aspirin and
suntan lotion. Preparing these gabs is no small task. "We're getting
ready to hand out 10,000 bananas," said John Bilsten,
part of the town's three husband-wife co-chair teams.
Welcome to the wild, wild West. Confused? Come to Northwood, where the theme
to the Top". "We're going to try to make it look like west Texas in north Iowa," said Ben Hengesteg, community development director. He said
Northwood will have a Western theme, "from the names of our campgrounds
to the beer garden." Lots of bandanas, hay bales and split-rail fencing
will dot the scenery. Mechanical bull riding and calf roping will be
available. The whole town will go country for Ragbrai, except for the
entertainment. "We're going to be the Western theme with the hip-hop
sounds," Hengesteg said.
There's no need to play games. Cresco already knows its
Greatest Show on the Road." Laura Ollendick,
chamber director, said downtown businesses will play up the circus theme in their
windows, and they're planning to host a home-decorating contest to illustrate
the circus fanfare. A juggler will perform throughout the day, and Ollendick said plans are in the works for a petting zoo.
Balloons will line the routes to the campgrounds, and red-and-white flowers
will be planted along Main Street.
Evening entertainment will include a battle of the bands between Skeeter Louis, a blues band out of La Crosse, Wis.,
and 2nd Hand Band from Cresco.
West Union's "Welcome
to the Jungle" will be less about survival and more about Tarzan and
Jane. There will be a Tarzan and Jane costume contest, a competition for the
best Tarzan call and another where partners have to peel a banana and eat it
without using their hands. Cutouts of jungle animals and palm trees will be
displayed around town. Entertainment will include the Waterloo-based band
Wild Card playing country and rock music.
Get ready to polka. The German Band, a 20 piece community ensemble, will
provide the music if riders can supply the moves. J.K. Smith, a volunteer for
the RAGBRAI advisory group, said the band is a representation of Guttenberg's
German flavor. Another band, Sounds
of Nashville, will give riders country tunes for dancing down by the
river. Other than that, it's all what's naturally there. Guttenberg intends
to entertain, but it doesn't intend to put on an act. It's the "Natural
Place to Ride."