Knoxville — Approximately 150 people attended a meeting at the Village Theater Wednesday night for an update from RAGBRAI®'s executive committee.
Members of the committee include Larissa Van Donselaar, April Verwers, Dylan Feik and Dylan Morse. Each took time on the microphone to explain the duties each of them will oversee and what each committee's purpose is for. This information was included in a slide presentation, which is expected to be received from the City of Knoxville and soon after, will be posted on www.journalexpress.net.
One of main points of the evening was the unveiling of the official RAGBRAI® in Knoxville t-shirt. The theme is "Knoxville-A Dam Good Time." The logo was designed by Scott Ziller and Brian Hatch.
The route the riders are expected to take through Knoxville was also unveiled. Riders will come in from the north on Highway 14, and will be taken through the Marion County Fairgrounds. Those brave enough will even have the opportunity to ride their bikes on the dirt of Knoxville Raceway.
From there, the riders will be taken downtown. The committee reiterated that downtown Knoxville will be showcased throughout the RAGBRAI® event, with vendors, entertainment and beverage gardens in the area.
For those who work or intend to visit downtown July 23-25, extra caution and planning should be considered. The committee will begin setting up on Tuesday night, July 23. Downtown streets, from blocks out, will be closed, with only authorized vehicles able to cross, on July 24. Riders will be headed out of Knoxville on July 25, but no time frame was discussed regarding clean up and seeing the rest of the RAGBRAI® traffic off on that date. A designated parking area for those who work downtown will be established at a later date, prior to RAGBRAI®.
Feik and Van Donselaar stressed that the goal is to showcase all that Knoxville has to offer. Everyone is encouraged to get involved.
"This is a chance to show our pride," Feik said. "I really think we're going to be the gem of this year's route."
The call for hundreds of volunteers before, during and after the event was made several times at the meeting. Even if you cannot volunteer, the committee encourages everyone in Knoxville to purchase a t-shirt, with the aforementioned logo, and wear it on July 24.
Shirts should be printed soon. A cost was not given at the meeting. An announcement of when and where the shirts will be available should follow soon after.
Concern was raised about where bikes will be parked and how those businesses and churches, not located on the designated route or shuttle route, will be noticed. Bike parking will be worked out in the weeks ahead. As for getting your stand or business noticed, advertising is available through the RAGBRAI® committee, and through the Journal-Express.
Look for the information shared Wednesday on our website when it is received. We will continue to keep you updated on the RAGBRAI® event as it unfolds in the weeks to come.