Newspaper Article Archive of
The Kalona News
Kalona, Iowa

Newspaper Article Archive of
The Kalona News

April 26, 2018 Cities seek volunteers to help with RAGBRAI celebrations
Article Pages -- as published on the The Kalona News website.

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When RAGBRAI rolls through Wellman, Kalona and Riverside on Friday, July 27, hundreds of volunteers will be needed. The cities have started recruiting to find them.

In community meetings in each of the towns over the past week, community organizers began laying out plans for celebrations and activities that will get bike riders off their bikes and keep them in their towns to spend money.

The towns are taking different approaches to organizing for the one-day event, starting with who is leading the organizing. In Wellman, two city councilmen, Mark Philpot and Shannon McCain are heading the organizing; in Kalona, it is City Administrator Ryan Schlabaugh leading the planning with help from Ben Curtis; and in Riverside, volunteer Kevin Meller is the driving force. Meller has experience organizing the annual communitywide TrekFest celebration.

Although the approaches are different, the objective is the same: get riders off their bikes when they roll into town. The longer they are off their bikes, the theory goes, the more money they will spend.

The number of riders – between 20,000 and 35,000 – will be drawn by the easy ride and the day’s destination in Iowa City. RAGBRAI has a limit of 10,000 official riders, but there is no way to prevent others from tagging along.

“It’s an easy ride, so you are going to get a lot of people who are not signed up,” Wellman’s McCain said.

People wanting to volunteer for RAGBRAI committees should contact city hall in their respective towns:

• Wellman: 319-646-2154

• Kalona: 319-656-2310

• Riverside: 319-648-3501

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