GETTING READY: Mason City Plans For RAGBRAI

The farm fields of northern Iowa will be the backdrop for this summer’s RAGBRAI.

This bike ride is going back to its small-town roots in 2014.

The largest overnight stop is Mason City with a population of 28,000 people.

The last time RAGBRAI riders rode through the city was in 1985. Just as RAGBRAI has transformed in the past 29 years, executive director of Main Street Mason City Jodee O`Brien says the town too has gone through some changes.

“It will validate what we have been working on as a community,” O`Brien said.

In the past 29 years the town has redeveloped its cityscape with a parade of sculptures throughout the town.

Some biggest additions actually come from the past including the recently restored Historic Park Inn Hotel. It’s the only remaining hotel in the world built by the famous architect Frank Lloyd Wright.

A lot of work and money is going into hosting with an estimated economic impact of $3-million. It will be the most revenue from a one-day event this city has ever experienced.

“It`s just a huge event in Iowa that if you can get that in your community, you`d be silly not to try,” O’Brien added.

And while it`s been a while since Mason City has been a part of this big event they say when RAGBRAI comes around, they`ll be ready.

This year’s ride is July 20th to the 26th.


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