Friday, July 29
The riverfront, including 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. In addition, there is a huge soccer event occurring the same weekend. 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, car and truck drivers, and bus and semi drivers. 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 Farmer’s 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 number 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 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 yard with bicycle art, 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 could use as many volunteers as we can get. We will have five Information centers and satellite centers staffed with friendly people welcoming the support crews, cars, trucks, buses, and semis at major intersections coming into town to help them find their way. We will also have volunteers acting as tour guides on Muscabuses and shuttles on Friday, July 22 and Saturday, July 30. In addition, we would like as many friendly people as possible stationed downtown and on the riverfront to answer general questions, like where is the high school located, where is the community college, where should I eat, where’s the nearest grocery store, etc. You can sign up for shifts in one-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 be aware that we will have an enormous number of people – cyclists, pedestrians, car and truck drivers, bus and semi drivers—in our city for the first time, trying to find their way to MHS, MCC, the riverfront, and other places. Please watch out for them, have patience with them, and help if you can.
More information can be found at www.RAGBRAImuscatine.com and on our Facebook page, RAGBRAI Muscatine.