IDA GROVE, Iowa (KCAU) — RAGBRAI is stopping in Ida Grove for the first time since 2006.
Residents there say while getting ready for the event requires a lot of helping hands, the opportunity to showcase the town is worth all the hard work.
Brian Lundell and his wife are opening a coffee and soda shop in Ida Grove this week. He said he’s thrilled to share what Ida Grove has to offer with all the RAGBRAI riders.
“Anytime a big event comes to a community, there’s always a big flush of economic growth to all the local businesses,” Lundell said. “For us, we’re just excited to bring a little history back to the people that come through.”
Jared Bogue remembers the last time riders from across the world rolled through Ida Grove in 2006.
“I was 18 at the time and I think I gave about 100 golf cart rides that day,” Bogue said.
Now he’s a member of Ida Grove’s RAGBRAI planning committee. That group has been meeting every week since February to prepare for the big event.
Bogue said thousands of visitors will experience the appeal of rural communities
“I think nowadays people are starting to shift back to small towns and we’re having people come from all over the world and we get to show them that living in small town iowa is the best of both worlds,” Bogue said. “You have the conveniences when you need them, but you have such a good quality of life.”
Jeff Miesner is a member of the Ida Grove City Council. He is organizing the bands and beer garden. He said preparing for RAGBRAI has been a community-wide effort and the town is ready for the opportunity to put on a party.
“I think it’s exciting,” Miesner said. “We get to showcase our little town of about two thousand people and we’ve got a lot to offer. We’ve got a lot of friendly people here, a lot of neat different things that you can’t see in other towns in Iowa and I’m excited to showcase that to riders from all around the world.”
The 454-mile route starts in Sergeant Bluff on Saturday and concludes a week later in Lansing.
For more information about RAGBRAI’s complete route, click here.