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Big banana crop in Mitchellville

  • 28 July, 2011

Tootie Mabie knows RAGBRAI riders are suckers for a marketing gimmick. To lure riders off the road in Mitchellville, she and some friends hung dozens of bananas from a tree and posted signs about the state’s only banana tree.

She remembers seeing a similar one years ago when she rode the ride herself, but hasn’t spotted one since.

“We brought ‘em back to Iowa,” she said with a laugh.

She was selling breakfast to raise money for the Southeast Polk High School Band, which had been playing nearby since about 5:45 a.m. More than 60 students played hits like “Don’t Stop Believin’” and “Livin’ on a Prayer” – to great big applause. Members of the award-winning marching band have been practicing from 6 to 8 a.m. every Monday morning this summer, so it wasn’t too hard to get them to show up  for the crowds.

“Our kids love this stuff,” conductor Jacqui Meunier said. “It they’re around, they’ll do it.”

Michael Morain

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