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On July 27, the city will be inundated with thousands of riders and support staff as RAGBRAI makes its way through the northern end of Washington County.
As you can imagine there is a substantial amount of planning that goes into hosting riders that day as they pass through Kalona. Currently we have four committees that have been established, and we would welcome more community volunteers to help make sure that Kalona is presented to the RAGBRAI community in a way we can all be proud of.
Committees that we are soliciting additional volunteers for are as follows:
• Food and Beverage.
• Hospitality, Entertainment and Special Events.
• Publicity, Website & Social Media.
• Volunteers & Transportation.
If you would like more information or would like to help on a committee or during the event please contact City Hall at 319-656-2310 or via email at rschlabaugh@CityOfKalona.org.
Through our partnership with the University of Iowa we have been provided three students through the John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center.
These students will take an active role in helping plan and carry out the RAGBRAI events for July 27. As well, the University of Iowa will take a look at the economic impact to “pass through” communities.
This help and study will be a nice tool for future communities to gauge the economic impact that RAGBRAI has on those communities. The three interns have already hit the ground running, and we look forward to working with them and letting them get to know our Kalona community.
So what’s the plan for that day?
Currently the council has directed staff work to work with the committees to establish a plan that would incorporate and showcase our downtown to the RAGBRAI riders and support staff.
If you have come to the Kalona Celebrations in the past, it would have the same feel only much larger in scope and scale.
To accommodate 3,000-4,000 individuals that come to help provide support to their friends and family that ride and 10,000-plus riders, we would look to close off our downtown to vehicle traffic on Thursday evening as well as most, if not all, of Friday, July 27.
In an effort to communicate with our downtown businesses and the public, we are continuing to host public meetings. This will be a chance for committees to report on their progress and address issues as they arise as well as allow for public input.
Meetings are set for May 10 and 24 as well as June 5 and 21 at 7 p.m. and will be at the KCTC meeting room located within the Kalona Chamber of Commerce building.