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RAGBRAI questions answered

Beverage garden changes planned

When RAGBRAI riders will roll into Fort Dodge Monday, they may notice a few differences.

One major change will be the beverage garden. In past years, the beverage garden has been contained to one location in town but this year, attendees will have the opportunity to purchase drink tickets and redeem them at some local businesses downtown.

“With the year we had with the pandemic, some of these businesses have been struggling so what better way to get people from all over the country into local establishments downtown,” said Cameron Nelson, chair of the event’s Speakers Bureau.

Three locations, — Shiny Top Brewing, Olde Boston’s Restaurant and Pub, and River Hops Brewing — will be allowing customers to take drinks to go, as long as they remain within the designated areas along Central Avenue. Ticket booths will be open from 10 a.m. until 10 p.m. and tickets can be redeemed until 11 p.m.

At a town hall hosted by The Greater Fort Dodge Growth Alliance Wednesday evening, members of the Fort Dodge RAGBRAI committee presented information and answered questions from citizens regarding what to expect on Monday.

In addition to explaining the changes to the beverage garden, Nelson also said Central Avenue will feature more than 40 vendors and live entertainment from local performers.

The state RAGBRAI association will be donating $15,000 to local organizations chosen by Fort Dodge sponsors. The money will be divided up as follows: $5,000 will go to Bikes for Tykes, $2,500 to the Domestic/Sexual Assault Outreach Center, $2,500 to Almost Home, $2,500 to Meals on Wheels, and $2,500 to PICA.

“These are local organizations right here in Fort Dodge that are getting money. This is from the state organization, this isn’t money coming out of Fort Dodge RAGBRAI’s pocket,” said Nelson.

The committee expects upwards of 30,000 attendees between riders and spectators based on the numbers from the 2019 ride. Nelson said riders could arrive as early as 7 a.m.

If you are interested in volunteering, the committee does have several volunteer opportunities. They will be cleaning up downtown on July 23 at 9 a.m. starting from the parking lot at the corner of First Avenue North and North Ninth Street. If you are interested in volunteering during RAGBRAI or helping with cleanup after riders depart, contact Shannon Crouse at shannoncrouse@msn.com.

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