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Towns gear up for RAGBRAI tour

The towns of Dallas Center, Minburn, Van Meter and Perry are gearing up for the Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Race Across Iowa (RAGBRAI) weeklong ride across Iowa on July 21-28.

RAGBRAI starts on Sunday, July 21 in Council Bluffs and the riders will make their way across Iowa until Saturday, July 27 when the ride ends in Fort Madison.

RAGBRAI started in 1973 when John Karras, feature writer/copy editor for the Des Moines Register suggested to Don Kaul, the Register’s “Over The Coffee” column writer that he ride across Iowa and write columns about what he saw from that perspective. Kaul agreed to go if Karras went with him.

They decided to invite the public to also ride along on the trek that started in Sioux City and ended in Davenport. One hundred and fourteen riders made the entire distance that year.

The number of riders has increased over the years and now thousands of riders and visitors will be heading to Dallas County communities in two weeks.

Perry-“Nothin’ but a Good Time”- Monday, July 22

The City of Perry is an overnight town for those riding in RAGBRAI on July 22 and will feature plenty of entertainment for riders.

Some free events include the Perry High School Pulse Dance Team at 3 p.m., Sheltered Reality Drum Corps at 3:30 p.m., and Showtime Dance Studio at 4:30 p.m. All three events are located at 3rd and Willis Avenue. The Forest Park Museum will also be free and open until 8 p.m. along with Duffy Cartoons Walking Exhibit and live owl presentation at 5 p.m. and 7 p.m.

Other events include a bicycle comedian at the Perry Performing Arts Center at the Perry High School at 5:30, 7, and 8:30 p.m. The cost is $7. Shows at the Perry Grand 3 Theatre include a matinee show for $5 and evening shows $5 for kids 12 and under as well as seniors 65 and older and $6 for others.

The Perry Golf and Country Club will feature golf for $20 and swimming $5. Games and inflatables will be at Pattee Park and open until 9 p.m.

Live entertainment includes Rob Davis: Acoustic Set at the Michelob Ultra Stage at 5 p.m., Steve Pellow trio at 6:30 p.m., Decoy at 8 p.m. and Hairball at 9:30 p.m. All will be held at Pattee Park.

“Minburn-A Small Town with a Big Heart”-Thursday, July 23

As RAGBRAI riders come into the town of Minburn, they will be greeted by the Adel-DeSoto-Minburn cheerleaders. The town will also have farm animals, an ‘ask the local farmer’ area, antique farm and livestock tools, picture-taking opportunities and 4-H kids.

During the ride, the city will be raising money for the Depot Project by selling biscuits, sausage gravy, scrambled eggs and veggie bowls, cinnamon rolls and ham balls at the food stand in Meek Park. They will also be selling homemade pies and ice cream at the Minburn United Methodist Church.

A large attraction will be the Big Heart Stage at Meek Park where the Singing Wheels, a skating show that was started in 1951, will be shown. The city will bring in some memorabilia that is on display at the Forest Park Museum as well as having former participants and the director on hand.

“Lexington Road,” a local group of musicians, will also be playing downtown.

Other vendors include: Back Pocket Brewery, Farm Boys, Chris Cakes, Breakfast Guys & Gals, and Lind-Sue Sweets.

“Minburn-A Small Town with a Big Heart”-Tuesday, July 23

As RAGBRAI riders come into the town of Minburn, they will be greeted by the Adel-DeSoto-Minburn cheerleaders. The town will also have farm animals, an ‘ask the local farmer’ area, antique farm and livestock tools, picture-taking opportunities and 4-H kids.

During the ride, the city will be raising money for the Depot Project by selling biscuits, sausage gravy, scrambled eggs and veggie bowls, cinnamon rolls and ham balls at the food stand in Meek Park. They will also be selling homemade pies and ice cream at the Minburn United Methodist Church.

A large attraction will be the Big Heart Stage at Meek Park where the Singing Wheels, a skating show that was started in 1951, will be shown. The city will bring in some memorabilia that is on display at the Forest Park Museum as well as having former participants and the director on hand.

“Lexington Road,” a local group of musicians, will also be playing downtown.

Other vendors include: Back Pocket Brewery, Farm Boys, Chris Cakes, Breakfast Guys & Gals, and Lind-Sue Sweets.

Dallas Center-“From Tricycles to Tractors”-Tuesday, July 23

The City of Dallas Center could see as many as 15-20,000 visitors traveling through town from the north on R16 between the times of 6 a.m. and 3 p.m. Riders will travel east on Hwy 44 from R16 to Kellogg, south on Kellogg to Walnut Street, and south in 13th Street past the Dallas Center Elementary and continue south on R16.

Riders will have a variety of vendors to choose from in Dallas Center including local vendors like Uncle David’s Mini-Doughnuts to other Des Moines based vendors like Americana Concessions, Cynful Smokers, Smoothie Revolution, and Tender Tom’s Turkey.

Color Wars, which features the bright color powder made famous by color race events across the country, will be at 8:30 a.m with battles beginning approximately every 30 minutes. Cow pie bingo gives people a chance to purchase a number and a live cow will choose the winning number in “a very special manner.”

Music in the Park will feature Jon Aanestad and other local artists at the gazebo at Mound Park. The farmers market will also be in the park along with playground equipment for the kids.

The Longest Yard Sports Bar will be hosting midget wrestling. Rubber Ducky Draw gives customers a chance to purchase a numbered rubber duck into a pond approximately once per hour one will be drawn and the winner will receive $100. All proceeds go to the “friends of DC pool” fund.

Along with all the activities happening, the Dallas Center Swimming Pool will also be open. The cost will be $3 per person.

Van Meter-“Veterans Rest at the Home of Baseball’s Best”-Tuesday, July 23

The town of Van Meter is anticipating 25,000 bikers and visitors on Tuesday, July 23 with participants arriving around 8 a.m.

Riders will take travel along Veterans Memorial Drive, Wilson Street and then leave the town on Richland Road.

Van Meter will be hosting the South Dallas County Crew Cut Cowboy Band and Exit 113. There will be two stages, one on Grant St. and the other at the American Legion Post 403.

Food sales will help out the American Legion in their building efforts.

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