RAGBRAI, come and gone

Like Cinderella after the stroke of midnight, the party is over and Jefferson is back as it was when residents woke up Sunday morning. The downtown square is drivable again, the city parks are pastoral again, and there’s not even much litter left from a crowd of close to 25,000 who came to Jefferson Monday for the Register’s Annual Great Bike Ride Across Iowa® and left again Tuesday morning.

photo by Matt Wetrich
Bikes after dark | GCNO photo

County residents will talk during the days ahead about the energy and excitement of the day; about the bicyclists they hosted in their yard or home; about the high-decibel, high entertainment put on by HAIRBALL on a stage set amongst buildings that date to the 1880s, and the huge crowd there to enjoy it; about the hundreds of volunteers of all ages and the mostly-“younger” executive committee and subcommittees that brought the event together; and about the fun of showing the county’s sites and telling its stories to new eyes and ears.

Hours at the bell tower were extended well past 10 pm as visitors kept coming.  According to volunteer supervisor Pat Richards, who spent nearly the entire day on the observation deck, more than 1,200 visitors took the elevator to the top of the tower.

Watch for information in the weeks ahead about any net proceeds from hosting RAGBRAI and how they will be distributed.

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