Area towns set plans in motion for RAGBRAI riders


LEE COUNTY – With 20,000 bicyclists headed to southeast Iowa six weeks from now, area communities are finalizing plans to entertain riders and showcase this part of the state.

In Keokuk, where the 2019 RAGBRAI ends on July 27, event volunteers have created the Biggest Dam Dip on the Mississip, with a day of music and entertainment including food and beer vendors.

Residents looking to get involved with Keokuk RAGBRAI can sign up with the hospitality committee this Saturday, June 15 from 3-7 p.m. at Rand Park Pavilion at the Radio Keokuk Local Music Festival.

Close to 45 riders visited Keokuk this weekend as part of their pre-route inspection ride for the 2019 Registers Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa. The riders were met by some of the members of the Keokuk Hospitality Committee. Keokuk will be the last stop on the ride where riders will dip their tires in the Mississippi as part of the Biggest Dam Dip on the Mississip. Photo by Andrea Rogers/Keokuk

The group will be signing up volunteers and selling Biggest Dam Dip on the Mississip tee shirts. The tee shirts are $15 each and available in four colors, in both adult and youth sizes. Tee shirts are also on sale at the Keokuk Chamber of Commerce office, Keokuk Tourism office, Keokuk Hy-Vee, and the UnityPoint Health-Keokuk gift shop. Other Biggest Dam Dip merchandise (including bottle openers, hats, tumblers, and koozies) is available for purchase at

Entertainment on July 27th will be provided by local Keokuk acoustic favorites, Glitter Salad, who are set to delight the ears of riders and spectators alike with their upbeat renditions of everyone’s favorite pop songs.

Main Street Keokuk, Inc will operate the beverage garden which is set to offer a variety of adult beverages including beers, seltzers, and a local craft beer from V’s Brewpub. The beverage garden will also feature the official RAGBRAI beer, Tailwind. The 16oz golden ale is produced by Big Grove Brewery out of Solon and Iowa City and sold in all of the RAGBRAI towns. It is currently available for purchase at the Keokuk Hy-Vee.

The dip site will also host a number of food and beverage vendors. The deadline for vendors has been extended to Saturday, June 15. Any non-profit or for-profit entity interested in vending is encouraged to visit for detailed instructions and an application.

In Burlington, where riders will have their last overnight stay, riders and residents are invited down to the Riverfront where a party will be held between Memorial Auditorium and the Port of Burlington on Friday July 26.  There is no admission charge and the event is open to everyone.

Live music will be begin at 2 p.m. going to 11:30 p.m. While live music is playing, party goers can grab their favorite drinks at the large beverage garden located in the center of the party.  The full entertainment schedule is as follows:

Eric Pettit Lion – 2 PM  (Americana)
Jera & the Absoluts – 3:30 PM  (Classic Rock, Rock, Blues & Reggae
Stumptown – 5 PM  (Heavy Country)
Headliner – The Spazmatics – 7 PM  (New Wave 80’s)
Catfight – 10:30 PM  (Pop & Rock from the 80’s to today’s top 40)

For more information about the party and the entertainment visit

West Point Mayor Paul Walker met with the pre-ride inspection team Saturday morning and said the group was impressed with West Point.

“They looked at their watch and said 10 a.m….hmmm, seems like a good time to be West Point,” he said.

“I told him he hasn’t seen anything yet.”

The West Point City Council approved an ordinance on Monday night setting fees and limitations for vendors in the city park prohibiting glass beverage containers and requiring $500 vendor fee for non-profits and $550 for for-profit non-RAGBRAI authorized vendors.

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