Decorah is ready to extend a warm Scandinavian welcome to RAGBRAI XLV.
Riders will come into Decorah on Friday morning from Pole Line Road.
“The best greeting we can give RAGBRAI on their ‘College Spirit Day’ is Luther College,” said Kristina Wiltgen, executive director, Decorah Area Chamber of Commerce.
The Luther community will be offering a big blue welcome to all RAGBRAI riders passing through Decorah. Much of Luther’s welcome will take place along the route on College Drive, but riders are also invited to take the "Luther Loop" through campus.
Local RAGBRAI entertainment includes Mike McAbee from 7:30-9:30 a.m. and local band Gaelstorm from 12-2 p.m. in the beer garden. Many Nordic Fest food vendors will be open early to greet riders and offer a taste of Nordic Fest to their 2017 RAGBRAI experience.
“It will be a unique blend of Nordic Fest tradition intermingled with a taste of Iowa’s great cycling tradition, we are excited to showcase Decorah,” said Wiltgen.
“City public works and public safety have worked hard to prepare for Nordic Fest and RAGBRAI all month,” according to Chad Bird.
“We are all eager to host the cyclists and looking forward to having a great time this weekend.” The local RAGBRAI planning committee has been working since March to plan for the visit. We hope that many riders leave with a desire to return and explore the area in the future.
RAGBRAI 2016 rider, and Decorah resident Amy Engelsdorfer is “thrilled that RAGBRAI is coming through Decorah this year. I know, as a participant in last year's event, that it was especially wonderful for local communities to come out, support the riders, and show all their visitors what wonderful towns are in our state.”
Decorah resident and experienced rider, Jim Fritz adds, “I love the community that is RAGBRAI. It is a happy event filled with 10s of thousands of people. I also love the physical challenge. It is a euphoric feeling to descend those final few miles into the Mississippi valley knowing that you have completed a pretty significant physical challenge.”
RAGBRAI amenities for riders will include:
• The RAGBRAI bike shops will be set up in the bowling alley parking lot
• University of Iowa medial van will be placed in front of City Hall
• RAGBRAI information and merchandise truck will be on the 500 West Water Street block.
• Support Crews will be directed to park at the Winneshiek County Fairgrounds as they enter from Highway 9.
For more information, contact Wiltgen at the Decorah Area Chamber of Commerce at (563)382-3990 or Chad Bird at City Hall at (563)382-3651.