Get ready for the area’s biggest party when Sioux City celebrates the 50th anniversary of The Register’s Annual Great Bike Ride Across Iowa, better known as RAGBRAI, on Saturday, July 22, with festivities that will attract a record number of registered riders.
RAGBRAI cyclists will arrive in droves and stay the night, July 22, before they dip their tires in the Missouri River and take off Sunday morning.
It will be the eighth time RAGBRAI starts from Sioux City, including the first RAGBRAI, that launched in 1973 with more than 300 riders, 114 of whom made it to the end. This year cyclists will stop in Storm Lake and five other communities before ending in Davenport, Iowa, on, July 29.
A focal point for the riders and local residents will be the entertainment and bike expo area in the Tyson Events Center and Long Lines Family Rec Center parking lot.
“RAGBRAI can showcase Sioux City like no other event and create a powerful economic impact,” said Sioux City RAGBRAI Chair Matt Salvatore. “Cyclists and their supporters from across the United States and from other countries will eat in our restaurants, stay in our hotels, shop and spend time with our warm and friendly residents.”
More than a dozen committees are addressing publicity, housing, signage, special events, public safety, medical, sponsorships, and more.
Sioux City is seeking host homes, vendors, and volunteers.
While thousands of registered riders will travel with charters and camp at Riverside Park and Chris Larsen Park on Sioux City’s riverfront, others will stay in area hotels, there is still a need for local homes, Salvatore said. “We need residents to open their yards and homes for smaller teams and individual riders. Most riders expect only a yard for camping, but they do appreciate access to a bathroom and shower along with a place to fill their water bottles. Some hosts enjoy cooking breakfast.”
RAGBRAI insures registered participants.
RAGBRAI began when Des Moines Register reporters, John Karras and Donald Kaul, decided to bike across Iowa and invited others to join them. The ride exploded over the years, making RAGBRAI a major summer event across the state of Iowa.
Sign up to host riders, volunteer, or be a vendor at ragbraisiouxcity.com.
News also appears on Facebook @siouxcityragbrai, Twitter @scragbrai, and Instagram @siouxcityragbrai.
The official logo for Sioux City’s 50th anniversary of RAGBRAI on July 22-23 will be featured on t-shirts, signage, posters, broadcast and print media, and more. Its colors and symbols reflect the history of 1973, when RAGBRAI first started from Sioux City.