Fairfield Preps For RAGBRAI Daytime Stop

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Fairfield is gearing up to welcome the renowned Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa (RAGBRAI) on Friday, July 26, where the town will serve as a pivotal meeting point for support vehicles and riders embarking on their journey to Mt Pleasant.

Unlike years in the past when Fairfield was an overnight destination for the event, this year Fairfield will host only a portion of the group for the day.  As a meeting town, Fairfield will see mostly support personnel and some riders who will arrive in the morning and stay until about 3 PM before moving on to the next stop. The full RAGBRAI event encompasses an estimated 20,000 weeklong riders, along with 3,000 support teams, and an additional 1,500 daily pass holders. According to a survey by The Des Moines Register, RAGBRAI riders represent a wide spectrum of professions and backgrounds, with a majority expressing appreciation for the warmth and hospitality extended by Iowa communities.

The co-chairs leading this endeavor include Terry Baker, Executive Director for Visit Fairfield CVB; Mendy McAdams, Executive Director for the Fairfield Area Chamber of Commerce; and Monserrat Iniguez, Director of Soapbox Speakeasy in Fairfield. These co-chairs will be spearheading a group of dedicated planners to curate an unforgettable experience that showcases the very best of Fairfield.

RAGBRAI has built a reputation as a celebration on wheels where the people of Iowa generously open their hearts and communities to the event. For Fairfield, this presents an unparalleled opportunity to highlight the town’s charm and hospitality.

Visit Fairfield CVB director Terry Baker emphasized the importance of community engagement in planning this event: “RAGBRAI isn’t just about cycling; it’s about fostering connections and embracing the vibrant spirit of our community. We aim to create an event that showcases Fairfield’s unique offerings and create an experience that will have these participants wanting to come back and spend more time in Fairfield.”

Chamber Director Mendy McAdams summed up the planning group’s enthusiasm; “I am so excited to get to show off our amazing community to all the riders. It will be a fun-filled day! We hope that many in the community will come out and volunteer to make this a great event.”

In preparation for the event, various local committees focusing on entertainment, communications, vendors, and public safety will be formed to ensure a seamless and enjoyable experience for all. Volunteers interested in contributing to this daytime celebration are encouraged to sign up at www.fairfieldragbrai.com.  Additionally, vendor information will be made available on the website starting April 10.

The 2024 ride will begin in Glenwood, just south of Council Bluffs, and then work its way to Red Oak, Atlantic and Winterset. From the birthplace of John Wayne, the ride will continue to Knoxville, before taking a 60-mile jaunt in Ottumwa on July 25. Riders will proceed to Mount Pleasant on July 26 and the ride will end July 27 in Burlington. This year’s ride will be the shortest on record at 434 miles, but at 18,741 feet of climb, the elevation will be the steepest. Fairfield previously hosted RAGBRAI as an overnight town in 1979, 1988, 1997, 2013, and 2019.

The organizers are asking for everyone’s patience as they get all the details sorted out and announced. All planning and activity announcements for the Fairfield meeting stop will take place on the Fairfield RAGBRAI website, www.fairfieldragbrai.com or their Facebook page. Questions can be emailed to [email protected]

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