ANAMOSA, Iowa — Like many things that were supposed to happen last year, RAGBRAI was canceled for 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
But now it's back for 2021, and towns like Anamosa are getting ready to host cyclists taking on the ride.
Dawn Meyer, the manager of the club, said they're still looking for dozens of volunteers to help out with the big day, including setting up and tearing down sites for folks.
“[We need] people to help park vehicles, people to take them to their campsites,” Meyer said. “We need to fence off our greens and our tee boxes so we can keep our course looking nice for the day after.”
RAGBRAI riders will have a huge, 25-foot-tall statue to look out for when they get to Anamosa— and it pays tribute to Grant Wood's American Gothic. Statues like this are all around town.
"We have big pumpkins with Pumpkin Fest, we have the big house, and now we want the big sculptures here permanently. It’s kinda what Anamosa is all about,” said LeeAnna Boone, the executive director of the Anamosa Chamber of Commerce.
That particular statue first stopped in Anamosa back in 2018, but now it's back until May 2022. Boone said she hopes to raise enough money to keep it there permanently.
“When we had it here before we had graduation pictures, we had marriage proposals, we had class reunions, all kinds of things. People really like to come, and people come from all over,” Boone said.
Boone said RAGBRAI is expecting to bring around 20,000 folks to the town, bringing in more traffic to local businesses who may have suffered during the COVID-19 shutdowns last year.
“It’s huge, especially after the last year that we’ve all had. The businesses are really looking forward to it. We’ve had a lot of people volunteer,” Boone said.
Volunteers are still needed, as well as folks who will allow riders to camp out at their homes. Boone said 300-400 volunteers will be needed on the day of.
Three local bands will be set up on East Main Street along with a beer garden and food vendors for the big day. A second stage will be set up on North Ford Street where folks can watch a local dance company and participate in an open mic.
Those interested in volunteering during RAGBRAI can click/tap here to sign up.