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RAGBRAI - What You Need To Know

July 17, 2014
by Jane Whitmore , Emmetsburg News

RAGBRAI will be in Emmetsburg Monday, July 21. That's when our community of 3,900 grows by 20,000 people.

The plans have been made by dozens of volunteers serving on committees. Now these plans will begin taking shape.

Included in Palo Alto County papers today is a special, informational section on RAGBRAI. This section includes maps that show the location of campgrounds and amenities, and local transportation, including shuttle bus routes and people mover routes.

Bicycle riders will arrive be coming into Emmetsburg Monday morning on county road N40. They will round the curve and go onto College Drive to Iowa Lakes Community College where the main campground is located. The information center is also located at the college.

The entertainment venue is located at Soper Park. Bands will be playing from mid-afternoon to midnight. Bicycle and food vendors will be located on North Broadway from the intersection Main and Broadway, north to 5th Street.

Physical preparations for RAGBRAI start this weekend. Banks of portable toilets and portable showers are arriving and will be put into place. Signs will be going up, directing bicyclers and support vehicles on their routes.

The majority of Soper Park will be closed to the public beginning at Sunday, July 20, so the stage can be set up and the beverage garden can be fenced off. Lake Street and 7th Street, next to Soper Park, will also be closed Sunday.

Street Closings

Lake Street, from 7th to 5th (400 block, 500 block and 600 block), will be closed at 6 a.m. Sunday morning. The street will re-open for traffic between 1 a.m. and 2 a.m. Tuesday, July 22.

7th Street, from Broadway to Lake, will be closed at 11 a.m. Sunday. The street will re-open for traffic in the early morning hours on Tuesday.

All of College Drive will be closed to through traffic from 6 a.m. Monday, July 21, until noon Tuesday, July 22.

Broadway, from the stoplights at Main and Broadway, north to 5th Street will be closed at 6 a.m. Monday, July 21. This involves the 500 block, 600 block, 700 block and 800 block.

The 2700 block of 11th Street will be closed form 6 a.m. Monday, July 21, until noon Tuesday, July 22.

Madison, from 21st to 23rd Street, will be closed all day Monday, July 21.

22nd Street, the 2500 block, will be closed all day Monday, July 21.

Walk or Ride A Bike

Due to the increase in population, Emmetsburg residents are encouraged walk or ride a bike next Monday, July 21.

To take in the view of RAGBRAI and participate in this one-day celebration with bicycle riders from all over the world, walk or ride a bike or drive with care. Take extra time to get around town and remember to yield to pedestrians and bicycle riders.


There is still time to volunteer. Volunteers are needed in several areas, from working in the beverage garden to riding on the shuttle busses.

Anyone interested is asked to contact Jodi Ward, stop at the Chamber Office, or go online to or jeremyjodi

Volunteers and vendor vehicles will be parked at Martin-Mattice Funeral Home parking lot and at Kerber Milling. Volunteers parking in these areas are reminded:

- at Martin and Mattice Funeral Home: Leave space for them to travel in and out with their vehicles (in case they have to do business).

- at Kerber Milling: It would be the space West of their business sign.

Helpful Hints

Residents may want to back into their driveways, so they do not have to back into traffic on Monday, July 21. This would increase visibility of people on bicycles and pedestrians.

Emmetsburg Municipal Utilities encourages residents to check their water on Monday and Tuesday before doing laundry. Due to the high volume of water that will be used by RAGBRAI's overnight stay in town, there could be some discoloration in the water.

Have Fun!

Most of all, Emmetsburg residents are invited to join in the celebration of RAGBRAI by being good ambassadors. Greet our guests and show them what Emmetsburg has to offer.

Thank you to everyone in the community for volunteering their time, their talents, their homes and their patience.

We have one day to greet bicycle riders from around the world and have fun with RAGBRAI?XLII.



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