May 29, 2024

THE BATTLE OF THE BUTT: Greenfield, other towns plan for RAGBRAI riders' visit

State health inspector Kim Miller (left) listens to questions from locals during a Greenfield RAGBRAI meeting as Pam Long listens.

Information meetings were held last Wednesday evening and area communities continue preparations for rolling out the red carpet for bicyclists and support personnel as RAGBRAI visits Adair County July 23.

Greenfield’s preparations are led by Greenfield Chamber Main Street representative Gina School. Fontanelle’s RAGBRAI committee is being led by Chance Stutzman and co-chair Jessi Young.

State food inspector Kim Miller was present at both meetings giving advice of the dos and don’ts to potential food vendors. A longtime vendor was also here to help communities vet ideas.

Greenfield’s RAGBRAI theme is “Home of the ‘Hill’-arious Battle of the Butt!,” playing off of the fact that Greenfield is home to the 1969 filming of the movie “Cold Turkey,” which is about a community quitting smoking. The day RAGBRAI visits Adair County is the hillest and longest day of the ride.

“RAGBRAI gives us this booklet and it has a schedule of things that need done, and we’re way ahead of schedule. We’re under 80 days away,” School said. “The biggest thing we’ve gotten done is our logo. We’re going to sell some planters, yard stakes, door mats and window decorating kits to make it look [welcoming].”

School said that RAGBRAI officials have yet to approve Greenfield’s routes through town for riders and support vehicles.

Important upcoming dates for Greenfield residents is a planning review with state coordinators May 21, a food vendor application deadline of June 1, a citywide cleanup June 2, the pre-ride visit from RAGBRAI leaders June 4 and another community cleanup day July 21.

There are many other aspects of the day that are yet to be planned, School said. The festival area will generally be from the Public Square east to the Hotel Greenfield and north to Greenfield City Park. Riders will come into town from the west via Highway 92 and exit south to Orient on Highway 25. Support vehicles will come from the north and exit town via East Iowa Street and Orange Avenue.

There will be a host of ways people can volunteer to help before, during and after RAGBRAI’s stop in Greenfield.

“We need all sorts of volunteers. It’s not all going to be day of things, either. There will be citywide cleanups. The day of there will be a lot of people everywhere,” School said. “I think people think they’re going to have to help all day long [if they volunteer], but we’re going to try to split it up into smaller shifts.”

Fontanelle’s RAGBRAI theme is “Fontanelle: A Wheelie Good Time.” Young commented to the newspaper that the committee of planners hopes that theme will generate a smile and some photo opportunities in various ways for participants as they pass through their community.

Fontanelle is in need of many volunteers to make RAGBRAI’s visit possible, though Young said she’s been pleased with the engagement from the public thus far. Those interested in helping can talk with Fontanelle City Hall.

Orient launched its RAGBRAI Facebook page this week. Mayor Matthew Swanson says committees have been formed, but no meetings have been held yet. Their theme is “Not Just Another Small Town.”

Caleb Nelson

Caleb Nelson

Caleb Nelson has served as News Editor of the Adair County Free Press and Fontanelle Observer since Oct. 2017. He and his wife Kilee live in Greenfield. In Greenfield and the greater Adair County area, he values the opportunity to tell peoples' stories, enjoys playing guitar, following all levels of sports, and being a part of his local church.