RAGBRAI XLV overnighting in Cresco


CRESCO - They’re coming!
Howard County is being invaded by about 15,000 RAGBRAI (Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa) riders, with their support crew on Thursday-Friday July 27-28, 2017!
On Saturday, Jan. 21, the Route Announcement Party was held at the Iowa Events Center in downtown Des Moines.
Jason Passmore, Executive Director of Howard County Business & Tourism, was an invited guest at the event.
Passmore commented, “Cresco was the first town announced, so we didn't have to wait long for the suspense. ”
It should be easy peasy for Cresco to host an overnight stay for the riders after planning and pulling off the town’s 150th celebration last year!
Although daunting, Passmore believes organizing for RAGBRAI will have fewer unknowns. “We know the RAGBRAI committee limits the number of week-long riders to 8,500, with an additional 1,500 day passes. That’s 10,000 riders. They also estimate 4,000 support people.” He does admit there will be some locals visiting to see what all is going on, but for the 150th, nobody knew how many visitors were going to attend.
Every year the RAGBRAI committee sends out a packet asking if the community would be interested in hosting an overnight stay. “We are asked to say ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to the invite, and for at least the six years I’ve been here, we’ve always said ‘yes,’” Passmore explained. 
This was the first year  for him that the RAGBRAI committee made a connection in the fall giving initial details.
This would be the third time in RAGBRAI’s 45-year history the route came this far north. Cresco was also an overnight stop in 2005 for the 33rd annual event and 1996 for the 24th annual.
Passmore noted, “The northern route is tougher logistically. First, there is a lack of transporation networks, it is more hilly, and the ending ‘dip’ site to get to the Mississippi River is challenging.”
The beginning and ending dip site is very important for the riders. The riders dip their tire in either the Big Sioux River (northern part) or Missouri River before they start on their journey across the great state of Iowa and then dip it again in “The Big Muddy.”
This year RAGBRAI XLV will take place July 23-29. The riders will dip their wheel at Orange City. The next overnight towns are Spencer, Algona, Clear Lake, Charles City, Cresco, Waukon and end at Lansing.
The exact route and towns it encompasses will not be released until March. 
In 1996, the 24th annual event stopped overnight in Charles City, and then traveled to Colwell, Deerfield, Alta Vista, Elma and Schley before overnighting in Cresco. On Friday morning, riders went to Protivin, Spillville, Fort Atkinson, St. Lucas, Hawkeye, Randalia and stayed overnight at Fayette.
This does not mean that will be the route for 2017.
In 2005, the overnight stop on Wednesday was Northwood. Thursday morning, bikers went through Carpenter, St. Ansgar, Stacyville, Riceville, Saratoga and Lime Springs.  Friday morning, the group went to Protivin, Spillville, Fort Atkinson, Jackson Junction, Waucoma, St. Lucas, Douglas and then overnighted at West Union.
To learn more, go to http://ragbrai.com
Anyone wishing to help with anything should contact Howard County Business & Tourism/Cresco Area Chamber at 563-547-3434. Passmore commented, “It will take the entire town to pull this off!”


Cresco Times

Phone: 563-547-3601
Fax: 563-547-4602

Cresco TPD
214 N. Elm Street
Cresco, IA 52136

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