Friday, July 22 & 23
RAGBRAI participants have started arriving to park their vehicles for the week at MHS (when it is full, which it’s expected to be, then we’ll use Mulberry school parking, if full, then MCSD). Numerous cars will arrive in the early morning hours on Saturday for approximately 1,000 +/- cars to be parked for the week.
We are told to expect 800+/- campers for Friday night (we’ll have a few tonight) behind Hayes school. We will be running Muscabus shuttles to the downtown-area and Park Ave. restaurants from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Multiple charter and team buses will arrive and depart MHS starting Friday, July 22 and should be done by late afternoon Saturday, July 23.
The huge undertaking of coordinating pre-purchased parking reservations and providing food options, camping areas with showers is being championed by the Muskie Booster Club – a fundraiser for the Club. It sounds like they could use some extra hands tomorrow as well.
There are 100 or so cyclists sleeping at the Y tomorrow night, 7/22 – a fundraiser for the Y. Some residents will be hosting cyclists at their homes on Friday, 7/22 and on Saturday, 7/30.
Expect Cedar Street between the by-pass and MHS/Hayes School to be extremely busy the 22nd and 23rd. The majority of cyclists and buses will be gone by 4:00 on the 23rd.
If you have a high schooler that needs to pick up their school laptop, encourage them to get that done TODAY.
Friday, July 29
The riverfront parking spaces and boat ramps will be closed starting at 3:00 p.m. on Friday through 6:00 p.m. on Saturday.
Saturday, July 30
The cyclists will be coming in on Hershey Ave. to Mississippi Dr. to Iowa Ave, turning right into the riverfront, then exiting on Cedar St. Hershey Ave./Mississippi Dr. will be closed to vehicular traffic from the Hwy 61 by-pass to Mulberry Ave. from 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. The detour around downtown will be 8th Street. The open crossover streets, with MPD traffic control, will be Main Street and Houser – expect delays. If at all possible, avoid it all by using the by-pass.
In addition, there is a huge soccer event occurring Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday of next week. Avoiding Houser at Hershey Ave. on the 30th is advisable. The soccer traffic will not be able to exit the by-pass at Hershey until after 6:00 p.m. They will be routed to Mittman Road to get to the soccer complex.
Our downtown area, including the riverfront will be crowded with cyclists, pedestrians, cars and trucks, buses and semis. 2nd Street will be open, however the feeder streets to Mississippi drive will be barricaded at the alley. Most municipal parking lots downtown will be utilized for RAGBRAI and the Farmers’ Market. The parking lots and spaces we do not block off, will be filled with visitors picking up their cyclist(s) starting early on Saturday morning.
Cedar St. will be the main route for cyclists to get to their cars at MHS. An enormous amount of cyclists will also make their way to Muscatine Community College and the Muscatine Mall. We are encouraging them to take the trail from the riverfront through Weed Park to MCC and the Mall. Please be aware of cyclists crossing Hwy 22 to get to Weed Park.
Great River Days events will be taking place on Friday and Saturday as well. People will be searching for parking spots as close to the riverfront as they can get.
The RAGBRAI route to the riverfront will have some unique decorations on the 30th. The park on Hershey at Houser will have the American Legion train engine/truck float and veterans handing out flags and/or bottled water.
MP&W is hanging their beautiful 20′ x 30′ American flag over Hershey Avenue by the soccer fields.
Carver Corner will have a 20′ letter “M” made out of bicycle tires by folks at Monsanto.
The River Monster will make an appearance somewhere along the route too.
Whether you live along the route or Cedar St., please feel free to decorate your yards
with bicycle art or flowers or whatever you desire to enhance the festive environment and show off our pride in our community. There is a bike art contest with a cash prize – see http://www.ragbraimuscatine.com/#!residents/cee5
We Need 100 More Volunteers
1. We could use as many volunteers as we can get. We will have 5 Information centers/satellite centers staffed with friendly people welcoming the support crews, cars, trucks, buses and semi’s at major intersections coming into town to help them find their way.
2. We will also need volunteers acting as tour guides on Musca buses/shuttles Saturday, 7/30.
3. In addition to that, we would like as many friendly people stationed downtown and on the riverfront to answer general questions like “where is the High School located”, “where is the Community College located”, “where should I eat”, “where’s the nearest grocery store”, etc. You can sign up for shifts in 1-hour increments at www.volunteermuscatine.org
We are excited to welcome these national and international visitors to our beautiful community. Once they see what a gem Muscatine is, they will make plans to come back and visit us again – for a longer stay next time.
If you can get a glimpse of them, some of the team buses coming in are converted school buses decorated to reflect the team’s name or theme. Some are quite creative.
Please know we will have an enormous amount of people – cyclists, pedestrians, cars, trucks, buses and semis in our city for the first time and trying to find their way to MHS, MCC, the riverfront, etc. Please watch out for them, have patience with them and help if you can.
Also, let our Police, Parks & Rec, Solid Waste and Public Works Departments know that we appreciate all they do — they have been and will be working many extra hours with 3 major events going on in our community next weekend.