Bicyclists will start arriving tomorrow afternoon in Hiawatha during the Register’s Great Bike Ride Across Iowa. The following is an excerpt of the run-through that one RAGBRAI bicyclist conducted in June.
(Taken from the official RAGBRAI website)
“Hiawatha is a community of 7,200 residents located on NW Cedar Rapids metro area. We are looking forward to returning for the second time since 2004! It has been 11 years since the last time RAGBRAI has come through town and a lot has changed since then. Hiawatha is the youngest town along the route, established in 1950, making it very unique since they do not have a lot of history many other communities have. That means each change made to the community makes a big impact. They are extremely proud of how far they have come over the last 65 years, and they hope RAGBRAI riders will see how beautiful and welcoming they are.
Hiawatha has blossomed since 2004 which has been a great challenge to overcome when it comes to planning for this year’s overnight stop. They have welcomed many new businesses into town, added new development, built a new City Hall in 2008, and continue to improve the town by the day! As riders enter town the route will bring them in along the same route as 2004 so riders will be able to see the changes Hiawatha has made since the last time they rode through.
Riders will enter into a blast from the past into the ’50s, ’60s, ’70s and ’80s where they can Throwback the day in the main event area located in Guthridge Park. They will be offering a campground, two stages where the Bryce Janey Band, Pop Rocks (you remember this awesome band from the Route Announcement Party last January), Dennis DeYoung: The Music of Styx and the Pork Tornados will showcase the night! Food vendors, bike shops and the main Throwback Thursday beverage garden will all take place during our Hiawatha’s fun-filled day of activities. Doug Wagner, from WMT will be the main MC for the day and continue to engage our RAGBRAI fans with comedy as he has been the main face for our social media Thursday videos since the start of planning back in February. If you haven’t already, follow his weekly videos on the Hiawatha RAGBRAI Facebook page.
Entertainment will begin at 2 p.m. with the Janey Band located at the Guthridge Park band shell from 2-4pm. Then the music acts will transfer to the main stage at the other end of the beverage area in Guthridge Park at 4:30pm with Pop Rocks opening for Dennis DeYoung: The Music of Styx who will start at 8:30pm. To finish off the night we will transition back to the band shell for Pork Tornados from 10-12pm.
The beer garden will open at 1 p.m. with several favorite craft beers provided by 7G Distributors. 20-25 food vendors will provide delicious offerings such as pie, lasagna, Mediterranean cuisine and perennial favorites such as pizza and burgers and church style dinners. There are also many local restaurants throughout Hiawatha along Center Point and Boyson Road (including Dairy Queen, Brick’s Pizza, Oscar’s, Culver’s, Tomaso’s Pizza, Pita’z and Farmer’s Daughter’s Market).
Two shuttles will be staffed with volunteer community guides circling Hiawatha, providing easy access to all the campgrounds and activities for the day. All of thier camping areas will be located about a mile away from the main event making it easy for all riders and guests to get to get where they need to.
If guests feel like more riding, we have the Cedar Valley Trail, located off of Boyson Road where you can enjoy more scenic views of Iowa.
So, if you are looking to take a journey through the decades and Throw it back on Thursday, July 23rd Hiawatha residents will be ready to welcome you in to the great City of Hiawatha where they live, work and PLAY! They hope you enjoy all of the fun and exciting entertainment they have to offer and hope to welcome you back in the coming years!”