RAGBRAI XLI Pass-through Town Spotlight – Runnells (Wednesday)
It will be “Christmas in July” in Runnells! So get ready for Christmas songs and caroling, mistletoe, snow “bales”, sleighs, Christmas Cookies and all the trimmings! There might even be a little snow to cool you down too… The town theme is “Hills, Chills and Wheels” so the downtown will have plenty of Christmas cheer for all.
To top it all off, as you ride into town, you will be welcomed by the SEP Jazz Band. The Southeast Polk band will be playing their hearts out as riding roll into town.
Runnells was named for John S. Runnells, a former editorial writer for the Iowa State Register (which would eventually become The Des Moines Register) and private secretary for Governor Samuel Merrill. This former coal town boomed in the late 1800’s, but a fire in 1892 burned down most of the buildings in town.
Runnells has nearly doubled its population since the 1970’s. The town boasts a bank, grain elevators, two bars and a winery.
Rosey Acres Winery is a small family owned boutique style winery which opened in 2006. The winery is owned and operated by Tom and Karen Diltz, both of whom share in the winemaking and blending of several grape wines. Wines range from dry reds and whites to sweet grape, and several seasonal fruit wines. The winery tasting room is located at 102 Brown St. in an 1890 bank building. One of only a few buildings left standing in the small town of Runnells, Iowa. The wines and several gift items are displayed in the original walk in bank vault. Stop by on your way through Runnells, sample some fine Iowa wines and ask the owners about the old bank. They will be serving their tasty Mimosas for RAGBRAIers!