SILVER CITY – For only the second time in the 39-year history of the ride, RAGBRAI (Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa) is coming to Silver City.
The north-central Mills County community was formally announced as a “pass through” town Sunday with the release of the complete RAGBRAI route. Riders will pass through Silver City the first morning of the ride, Sunday, July 24, as they make their way from Glenwood to Atlantic.
Riders will leave Glenwood heading northbound on 245th Street behind Our Lady of the Holy Rosary Catholic Church, then eastbound on Gaston Road. From Gaston, they’ll turn north on Highway 242 and enter Silver City from the south end of town. After passing through Silver City, they’ll travel northeast to Carson and Griswold, leaving Mills County via Brothers Ave. and 370th Street.
Silver City Mayor Rose Schoening said Monday she’s known for about three weeks RAGBRAI would be coming to her community. The city of Silver City was required to submit paperwork to RAGBRAI officials prior to March 1 to demonstrate the community’s desire to be included on the route for the nation’s oldest and largest cross-state bicycle ride. This year’s ride, from Glenwood to Davenport, will cover 454 miles of Iowa countryside.
“I’m excited about it,” Schoening said. “I know it’s going to be a lot of work for the city to make it an exciting event for the riders.”
Schoening said news of RAGBRAI’s return to Silver City started circulating after the complete route was announced Sunday, but speculation has been out there since late January when Glenwood was selected as the starting point for the ride.
RAGBRAI’s only other pass through Silver City came in 2003. Schoening was serving as mayor pro-tem that year, so she has a pretty good idea of what to expect this time.
“My plan is for the ambulance, fire department, library and historical society to work together,” she said. “We can make this event as nice as we want to.”
Schoening said the ride will provide a fundraising opportunity for local 4-H clubs and organizations like the Silver City American Legion post. She also expects the town’s Main Street restaurant, Austin’s On The Trail, to do well the day of the ride.
Out-of-town organizations will be required to pay a vendor fee in Silver City. Local clubs and businesses will not, Schoening said. In 2003, the city charged a $150 out-of-town vendor fee.
Silver City residents interested in volunteering in some capacity should contact City Hall at 525-1090 or Mayor Schoening at 525-1170.
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Glenwood City Council Setting Vendor Fees
Operating a food stand or merchandise booth during RAGBRAI’s visit to Glenwood will cost more this year than it did in 2003, the last time the bicycle ride started in Glenwood.
An ordinance drafted for the Glenwood City Council sets both the food and non-food vendor fee at $250 for residents of Mills County. The fee for non Mills County residents will be $600. The structure is based on fees the city of Red Oak charged when it hosted RAGBRAI in 2009.
In 2003, the Glenwood fees were $100 for Mills County-based vendors and $500 for non-residents.
The RAGBRAI vendor fees will be required of any person, club, group, organization or corporation that intends to sell food or non-food items within the city limits of Glenwood during the weekend of July 23-24.
All food vendors will be required to comply with state health regulations pertaining to the sale and dispensing of food for public consumption.
Existing restaurants and establishments in possession of a valid food service license from the state of Iowa will not be required to pay the vendor fee as long as the food is being served within the premises of the existing business.
The location of individual food and non-food vendor booths will be assigned by Glenwood’s RAGBRAI vendor committee.
Under the city ordinance, the sale or erection of a temporary facility for the sale of food or merchandise without a vendor permit will be classified as a nuisance in violation of city code. A person or organization found to be in violation of the code by operating a stand without paying the vendor fee will be required to cease operations immediately through an emergency abatement procedure that will be carried out by law enforcement officers.
Glenwood Mayor Kim Clark said the vendor fees collected will help offset the costs the city will incur for serving as a RAGBRAI host. Those costs include rental of porta-potties and overtime hours for law enforcement officers and public works employees.