Ragbrai® info meeting


Cresco - A group of about 60 folks showed up to the RAGBRAI® (Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa) informational meeting on March 15.
Jason Passmore of Howard County Business & Tourism explained, “The City and Chamber apply [to be a stop for RAGBRAI®] every year. This year we were lucky enough to get chosen.” The event will ride through Cresco and Howard County on July 27.
He said the interest level in one of the shortest rides in its 45-year history is high. The RAGBRAI® committee guarantees Cresco 15,000 visitors. But it could easily get over 20,000.
Things have changed. Cresco was a pass-through town in 1993 and an overnight stop in 1996 and 2005. “Some things they’re doing this year, they didn’t do 12 years ago. They bring their own street sweeper and porta potties.”
Passmore emphasized having a fun experience. “We want to enjoy the process and put our best foot forward. In addition, RAGBRAI® tells us this is a marathon, not a sprint.”
The Executive Board and the Committee Chair members in their group gave a synopsis of what each committee is in charge of.
Mary Ann Neuzil
Housing: Dave and Shirley Sovereign —The couple will help connect riders to housing, but are only helping registered riders.
Medical: Brady Norman —There will be a couple First Aid stations around town. He needs anyone with basic First Aid knowledge.
Communications: Jim Murphy, Zach Gooder and John Gooder —Will have two-way radios available, wi-fi hotspots and power to charge electronics.
Ride Right: Paul Lovell and Keith Wherry —Will take care of safety concerns in town and along the route to the next host town, Waukon.
Katie Ferrie
Publicity: Tammy Henderson —This committee has four sub-committees including signs, marketing/media, maps and speakers bureau. 
It is in charge of coming up with a theme and design.
Hospitality: Hillary Klimesh —The group is the community cheerleaders, keeping people informed and excited. They will do fund-raisers by designing a t-shirt, decorating the town, having photo ops, beautification and being ambassadors for Cresco.
Information Center: Jennalee Pedretti —Will have two areas, one at the Fairgrounds and one downtown.
Tom Barnes
Food and Vendors: Missy Hvitved and Kathy Rice —This group is in charge of food vendors to help serve 15,000 evening meals and 2,000 breakfasts.
Electrical: Bob’s Electric with Dale and Darrel Andera —Need to know the needs of all other committees and will make sure there is enough electricity to go around.
Campgrounds: Ryan McCarville and Steven Burke —Will need to find room for 600 RVs, 85-100 acres of land (they currently have 50) and need about 100 volunteers (they have 8-9).
Entertainment: Kelly McCarville and Dean Lickteig —Will take care of a big band as well as smaller bands and games for the riders.
Steve McCarville
Public Safety: Rod Freidhof —Will take care of traffic control, parking, street conditions, weather monitoring, etc.
Law Enforcement: Police Chief Tim Ruroden —Will enforce campgrounds and beverage garden with added officers if needed.
Showers, Sanitation, Recycling: Lucas Merritt —This committee will be in charge of sanitation, recycling, porta potties and showers. Volunteers are mostly needed on the day of.
Transportation: Brian Swestka —Riders will be moved from campgrounds to downtown area by school bus. Drivers are needed but must have a Class B CDL with passenger and school bus endorsements. There is plenty of time to get the license if needed. He concluded by saying, “As an added bonus, you could be a substitute bus driver!”
Jason Passmore
Beverage Garden: Kris Riley —Organizes and staffs the Beverage Garden.
Web and Social Media: Chamber —Staff will keep the website www.crescochamber.com updated, as well as Facebook and Twitter to get the word out about how fun it will be to stay overnight in Cresco.
Volunteers: Each group is in need of volunteers . . .  lots of volunteers. There are all sorts of different things a person can do to help before, during or after the event. Every talent can be put to use!
If you want to be part of the party, volunteer for one of the committees. If you don’t want to be part of the party, but want to help out, call the Chamber to volunteer. They’ll find a spot for you!

Cresco Times

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

Cresco TPD
214 N. Elm Street
Cresco, IA 52136

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