MUSCATINE, Iowa—From lawn beautification to hosting riders, contests and volunteer opportunities abound for Muscatine residents as the town prepares for more than 15,000 visitors during RAGBRAI.
Muscatine was selected as the last stop on the 2016 Register's Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa this spring. Riders from across the country and the world will dip their tires in the Mississippi River along the Muscatine riverfront.
The final public information meeting regarding RAGBRAI was held Tuesday evening, and Muscatine residents attended to learn more about the riders' time in Muscatine.
"This is a good chance for us to show off our community, we know it's a lot of work and we are asking for your support," said Greg Jenkins, President and CEO of the Greater Muscatine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GMCCI).
Janet Morrow, Director of Membership and Marketing at GMCCI and the RAGBRAI project lead, said riders can be expected from around 8 a.m.-3 p.m. on July 30, and some riders may stay longer in the day.
Many riders will also be in town Friday, July 22, to drop off support vehicles, and Morrow said the around 1,000 visitors will most likely leave by noon on Saturday, July 23.
Ky Cochran, Director of the Muscatine Convention and Visitors Bureau, said that volunteers can help on the day of RAGBRAI or beforehand as greeters, providing information to riders about Muscatine or helping the town prepare.
"If you do want to be outside, we need cheery people to be greeters as the riders come into town," Cochran said.
Two beautification contests will also be held, and residents can enter in either the contest for best yard for those who live along the RAGBRAI route or the bike art contest, where anyone can decorate a bike for the Chamber to place around town.
The kids art contest is also still open, and entries will be taken until June 13.
Residents can also host riders from July 29-30, or when they visit town July 22.
"What we're looking for is repeat visitors, so 15,000 people are going to visit and our goal is to wow their socks off," Morrow said.
Information for all the contests and volunteer opportunities as well as a map for the event can be found at www.ragbraimuscatine.com.