Emmetsburg is hosting a party in about 48 days. We have much to do to get our house in order before thousands of bicyclers and their entourage come to town.
Take a look around your neighborhood. Are we ready to host 10,000 guests from all over the United States and many from countries overseas?
When you travel, what do you look at when you drive through a community? When you transition from evenly planted fields sprouting corn and soybeans, do you notice the outskirts of different communities??Do you observe the properties of industrial and large businesses in the community? Does your route take you through the downtown business community? What impressions do you take with you down the road?
Now look at Emmetsburg with a critical eye. Where can we make visual improvements?
Emmetsburg is at the crossroads of Highway 4 and Highway 18. We see traffic all year long, but especially during the summer months as boaters, campers and vacationers make their way here and there. Some of that traffic stays here to enjoy the amenities of Emmetsburg and Five Island Lake. Others travel to Lost Island Lake, Silver Lake, Okoboji and Big Spirit Lakes. What impressions do they take away?
As we prepare for our bicycling guests, we need to pick up and clean up -- not that we shouldn't do that every day. For those who cannot do the work, let's lend a helping hand.
We have heard a suggestion of gathering a group of volunteers to mow and trim weeds on unattended properties a few days before RAGBRAI riders come to town. Volunteers with a lawn mower and a weed whacker can do a lot of good in a short period of time.
First, we need to identify properties that need assistance. There may be properties not cared for because the owner is not able, or perhaps the owner or tenant does not have the equipment to get the job done. Next, we need to gather a list of volunteers. Anyone willing to help out, please contact us at the newspaper of call the Chamber Office.
In the mean time, all of you who are out walking: take along a plastic bag, then bend over and pick up papers and trash along your route. You might consider wearing gloves, too. Bending over will enhance your workout!
This week, 25 experienced cyclists will ride the entire RAGBRAI?XLII route to inspect the roadways and meet with community leaders. They will be riding from Emmetsburg to Forest City today, leaving from Soper Park at 7 a.m. Tuesday. We will be anxious to hear about their experiences on their ride from Okoboji to Emmetsburg.