Norwalk and its Chamber of Commerce members will welcome 10,000-plus bicyclists and support crews of families and friends Tuesday, July 23, when RAGBRAI, the annual cross-state bicycle tour sponsored by The Des Moines Register rolls through town. Awaiting them will be a full-day of activities, including traditional Iowa foods, live music, vendors and activities.
A volunteer committee, headed by City Council Member Jaki Livingston and Insurance Executive Jim Lane, has been working since March to stage a day that is both fun and safe.
Numerous local and regional organizations and businesses are planning activities to entertain riders and the support crews of family and friends who will accompany them on the ride which begins July 21 in Council Bluffs.
Norwalk activities will center on a RAGBRAI zone from Highway 28/Sunset at North on the west to North Avenue/R-57 on the east with most activities along North Avenue from Main Street to Cherry Street. Bands will perform throughout the day from a stage in City Park and food vendors will fill the Norwalk Easter Public Library grounds. Dr. Donna Grant is leading the entertainment committee and promises the best live music on the entire 427-mile RAGBRAI route. Featured performers will be Punching Pandas, PianoPalooza and Dan Trilk and the Trilk School of Rock.
Riders are expected to begin arriving in Norwalk before 10 a.m. after an overnight stay in Winterset and activities in the pass-through town of Cumming and to depart Norwalk for Indianola beginning at 3:30 p.m. Riders must leave the community by 5 p.m.
“Then will kick off another party, a free evening appreciation event to thank the community for giving the riders a memorable day in Norwalk,” Grant said. At 6 p.m. entertainment will move to the City State Bank parking lot where PianoPalooza will perform live and food booths and more will set up.
Watch for more details on activities, entertainment, volunteer opportunities and vendors.