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RAGBRAI events village will showcase Des Moines

(Editor’s note: The theme and logo for the Des Moines RAGBRAI overnight stay have changed. See the updated logo and theme here.)

A RAGBRAI events village will showcase the best of what downtown Des Moines has to offer for the thousands of riders and visitors who make their way through Iowa’s capital city on July 23.

“We really wanted to show off the great city of Des Moines and everything Des Moines has become,” said Eric Branstad, a member of the RAGBRAI Des Moines Planning Committee’s executive team.

The village will be set up along the Principal Riverwalk, with events and vendors along Water Street and the Walnut Street and Court Avenue bridges. The main stage will be set up on Court Avenue bridge; organizers are still working on finalizing a list of performers.

The location will allow visitors easy access to restaurants, retailers and activities on both sides of the Des Moines river, said Chris Diebel, operations chairman for the planning committee.

It’s also an opportunity to show of Des Moines’ new Principal Riverwalk.

“In the East Village, riders can look forward to a one-of-kind restaurant and retail experience and on the Court Avenue side, there are really great restaurants and bars they can take advantage of,” Diebel said. “We really want to wow participants.”

Local organizers turned to Raygun and one of its popular shirts for the overnight town’s theme and logo: RAGBRAI Des Moines Greatest Bike Ride In the World. Greatest City in the World.

The seven-day ride across the state at the end of July draws about 10,000 people every year, but event organizers expect that number to swell to as many as 35,000 riders as it makes it’s way through central Iowa mid-week.

Diebel and others are planning a full day of events in Des Moines for riders and others. The route from Perry to Des Moines is 49.9 miles, and Diebel expects people to arrive to Des Moines early.

A complimentary shuttle bus service from the campgrounds at Water Works Park to downtown will begin mid-morning and run through 11 p.m.

Entertainment on the Court Avenue bridge will run from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., and fireworks over the river will serve as the finale.

In addition to a numerous restaurant and retail vendors on Water Street and the Walnut Street bridge, the World Food Prize building will be open for public tours and the State Historical Museum will feature a 3,000-square-foot RAGBRAI exhibit.

The promenade at the World Food Prize building will feature smaller acts and a craft beer area.

“People will really be able to explore both sides of the Riverwalk and within blocks, they’ll have all of these cultural and entertainment options,” Diebel said.

Organizers are collecting vendor applications now, and more announcements about main acts and other activities are expected in the coming weeks, he said.

5 Responses on “RAGBRAI events village will showcase Des Moines


April 20, 2013 at 2:22 pm

we would like to augment your event with a state registered and inspected food vendor truck. our plan for this ragbrai would be to sell “create your own” walking tacos along with hot dogs, drinks and kid’s meals.homemade cupcakes and cookies will be available as well along with a variet of canned drinks and drinks in plastic bottles.walking tacos and sandwiches would be prepared on site. info about your perry, des moines and knoxville stops and any vendor fees,dates,relevant applications and regulations for these stops would help us to prepare. we are registered with the secretary of state as KJO,LLC and our truck has been inspected by the state health department under the name Kjo’s Sliders and Tacos.
Thank you for any help you can offer.
John L Cain
515-710-8593 (cell)


May 2, 2013 at 7:07 pm

Are the shuttles going to the local churches or school for spaghetti dinners and showers? And why are the shuttles stopping at 11pm? How are riders suppose to get back to waterworks park at the end of the night, walking from down town to Water Works park is not exactly a walk you want to be taking at night especially if your camp is at the far west end of the park. All the events are downtown by all the night clubs that don’t close till 2am and I am sure the beer gardens are staying open till 12.

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July 3, 2013 at 9:27 am

The “RAGBRAI events village will showcase Des Moines | RAGBRAI” is very interesting on http://ragbrai.com. very best Solution: Furnace cement will most likely crack and fall off. If your must seal it, try to get a hold of the high temp caulk. I commonly utilize ‘fire caulk’ in order to caulk around floor …

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July 15, 2013 at 11:14 pm

We are meeting a bunch of day-riders in Des Moines. Where is a good spot to set up a tailgate tent for them when they arrive? I’m assuming that they will want to be close to the Events village, but that the grassy areas will be taken by vendors. How about the lawn of the Capitol?

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October 18, 2013 at 6:26 pm

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