Waterloo to promote local businesses during RAGBRAI stop, still looking for volunteers

Published: Jul. 1, 2021 at 10:27 PM CDT
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WATERLOO, Iowa (KCRG) - In four weeks, the city of Waterloo is expecting more than 10,000 visitors to ride in for a night as part of RAGBRAI XLVIII, which was postponed from last summer because of the pandemic.

The 2021 rendition of the Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa begins July 25 in Le Mars and wraps up in Clinton on July 31, with stops in Waterloo on July 28 and in Anamosa the following night.

The Waterloo stop will feature musical acts on two stages, including the headlining Purple Xperience featuring Marshall Charloff, a Prince tribute band, on the Riverloop Expo Plaza stage, which is right next to Verve Kombucha Kitchen + Bar.

“They’ll be walking right by us, so able to stop in, say hey, grab some good food and drink, and keep on going to the party,” Verve partner Alexander Hottle said.

Experience Waterloo, which is organizing the city’s stop on the ride, said its goal is to get riders to local businesses like Verve as much as they can.

“We’re going to do some things where we maybe limit the number of vendors in order to promote the patronage of these small businesses that, again, have had a really difficult year,” Experience Waterloo Executive Director Tavis Hall said.

Hall said that emphasis on local businesses is a direct result of the pandemic, but otherwise, the plan has largely stayed the same from the postponed 2020 ride to the 2021 ride.

While Hall said they’re excited to see those plans in action, what they really need right now are volunteers to sign up — several hundred of them.

“It’s going to be everything from setting up to cleaning up. We’ve really got three days of jam-packed volunteer necessities,” Hall said, adding that anyone from individuals to corporate groups to social clubs can all sign up for shifts.

In the midst of those jam-packed days, places like Verve are glad the focus will be on supporting local during the city’s biggest event since the pandemic.

“We’re happy to be here in general, and now we’re really happy for RAGBRAI, one, to be coming to our town and, two, that we just get to be right in the middle of it,” Hottle said.

People interested in volunteering during the RAGBRAI stop in Waterloo can find out more by clicking here.

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