CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- RAGBRAIÒis coming to Cedar Falls and the University of Northern Iowa on Wednesday, July 22. The Des Moines Register's 43rd annual ride is making its fourth stop in Cedar Falls. As an overnight town, UNI and the community will host thousands of participants, which is a perfect opportunity to share civic pride and invite visitors to come again. The stop is expected to provide an economic boost of approximately $3 million. Plans to date were shared at a news conference today. All Cedar Falls RAGBRAI details and updates will be located at cedarfallsragbrai.org as they become available.
The main campground, entertainment and food vending will take place at the parking lots and fields west of the UNI-Dome on the UNI campus. Some charter group camping will also take place south of University Avenue, also on the UNI campus. A shuttle route will provide access to The Hill, downtown Main Street, the College Square area and other parts of town for volunteers, riders and support teams.
Route in and out of town
The riders will enter Black Hawk County from New Hartford using T-55, then travel east on Beaver Valley Road or C-67, then travel south on Union Road or T-75. The riders will continue south on Union Road, crossing Highway 57 (West 1st Street) to West 27th Street. The riders will then turn east onto West 27th Street arriving at UNI. A request will be made to the City of Cedar Falls that West 27th Street be closed to vehicle traffic during the arrival of the bicyclists. Vehicle traffic should expect delays on the bike route and should find alternate routes to avoid these delays. Police officials expect bike riders will begin arriving in Cedar Falls before 10 a.m. until around 6 p.m.
Riders will be leaving Cedar Falls on July 23 using West 27th Street to Hudson Road, heading south on Hudson Road until they reach the city limits. At that time, responsibility will be turned over to the Iowa State Patrol, Black Hawk County Sheriff officials and the Hudson Police Department. A request will be made to the City of Cedar Falls that one southbound lane of Hudson Road from West 27th Street to the southern city limits be coned off and designated for bicyclists only. Again, vehicle traffic that usually travels Hudson Road should find an alternate route. RAGBRAI officials will be sending letters to industrial park businesses requesting that employees who work west of Hudson Road use Union Road to get to work. Employees of businesses east of Hudson Road are going to be asked to use Highway 58 to get to work. Police officials expect the bike traffic to begin around 3 a.m. and last until around 10 a.m.
It will require nearly 1,000 volunteers to provide an excellent experience for riders and their support teams. Areas of need include hospitality, vending, beverage garden (must be 21), campgrounds hosts, entertainment, etc. Volunteers can choose times and roles by registering on the volunteer form at cedarfallsragbrai.org.
In 2007, the most recent RAGBRAI stop in Cedar Falls, nearly 2,100 requests for lawn space or residential accommodations were met. The UNI Department of Residence is also providing housing in residence halls. Those interested in hosting riders at their home should register on the housing form at cedarfallsragbrai.org.
Two stages will provide a variety of music styles throughout the day. The afternoon venue will be in the natural amphitheater space on the south lawn of the McLeod Center. The schedule is:
12:30 – 1:15 p.m. Karla Ruth
1:30 – 2:30 p.m. Joe Price
2:45 – 4 p.m. Dylan Sires and Neighbors
4:15 – 5:30 p.m. Bob Dorr and the Blue Band
Beginning at 5:30 p.m., entertainment will move to the beverage garden in the parking lot west of the UNI-Dome, and that schedule is:
5:30 – 7 p.m. The Devon Worley Band
7:30 – 9 p.m. The New Black Seven
9:30 – 11:30 p.m. Hairball
The need to provide food and beverages to 18,000 visitors creates an opportunity for businesses and nonprofits alike; in 2007, 35 vendors met this demand. Potential vendors are invited to complete the application form at cedarfallsragbrai.org.
Cedar Falls RAGBRAI provides a unique opportunity for a collaborative approach between university and community members. Expertise is being provided by 33 volunteer chairs.