I am in charge of coordinating events for one of the first main buisnesses that you will see you enter Leon! We are looking for suggestions and ideas about what YOU want! We will have a large grill in operation? What’s your favorite item? If we had activities on the front lawn what would you suggest or participate in? We can’t wait to have a fantastic time with you all!
Thanks for asking and we are looking forward to it. My team is staying at the Golf Course so we will probably be close to you. I would suggest a slip and slide if possible or anything water related (pools, sprinklers, dunk tank ect). Shade is always good too and of course cold beer.
One neat thing I have seen is a team sticker board. If you put this along the road and make it very visible “We want your Team Sticker” people will stop and slap theirs on there then maybe buy something.
Food- pretty much anything just don’t overprice.
Also if your located right at the start of town everyone will be asking you for directions so have some town maps for yourselves to refer to.
Seconding the suggestion about water-related stuff. When it’s hot out, I love arriving in a town where there is a(n optional) sprinkler set up, usually attached to a fire hydrant, so that riders can ride through a spray of water as they arrive.
Not everyone is into the beer thing, so a variety is a good idea. Some of us have caught onto the idea of stopping into the grocery stores and other shops instead of the vendors at the booths. That way we’re supporting the local economy, and the vendors still get their fair share. Warn your stores; we descend like locusts.
Ice cream. Sorbet. Smoothies. Locally made from local products is better.
I have seen towns put up big painted maps just after you get into town, where everyone slows down. You can decorate it with pointers to the vendors, shops, and attractions.
In the past, towns have painted a giant map of the USA and made sharpies available so that riders can sign their names in their home state. Don’t forget to add a space for “Other”, since we get people from around the world.
…and I really like sending postcards from the ride. Local cards sent from the local post office are my favorite. Okay, perhaps that’s only me…or perhaps not.
If it’s hot we all are going to welcome shade. I stick to bottled water, the colder the better! Somehow I want to know about the local Churches, Scouting Troops, or Community Clubs who are serving dinner. Directions to those venues would be nice. Thank you for asking for these suggestions. Pam
Farm equipment! You folks have lots of stuff we don’t have in New England. I love to look it over and learn how it works.
Thanks for asking! As a first timer, I am mostly looking forward to the much reported Iowa hospitality….of course cold water, and food that speaks to its Iowa roots.
I do like the idea of supporting local folks…so I will stop by on my way into Leon. We appreciate the effort put in by the communities along the route.
The really big Mr. Freezes! by far my favorites as I role into a town.
Frozen fruit has been my favorite at the end of a hot day. Anything on a grill is fine. Cheap beer is even better. I’ll also say pick a cause and set up a donation box too. You’re dealing with a higher than average income crowd that is carrying cash. You will be amazed at what you will get if you just ask.
A few years back a place in Bussey had tomato sandwiches. We were lined up down the block to get one. Simple and still one of my favorite snacks on Ragbrai. Haven’t found one on the route since that day.
Oh… One more important thing: Good showers.
Some towns last year did a really nice job of arranging showers, and the commercial shower trucks do fill in the gaps. There have, however, been a couple of times when the shower facilities ran out of towels. The worst was when they ran out of towels and hot water. We got freezing cold showers and then had to sun-dry in our clothes. Brrrr.
I always appreciate the effort that towns put in to hosting RAGBRAI. I’m just a much more friendly and presentable guest if I can get that shower and feel recovered after the ride.
Thanks for asking!
When I can, I prefer to get my evening meal from a local community organization, churches, Scouting, schools, etc. Let them know we are coming.
These are all very helpful ideas! ZIGMORGAN, just tomato on a sandwich? Tell me more about these! If you had your choice of one grilled item at a great price point which of the following would be your top choice?
1.) Grilled pork chop on a stick
3.) Turkey Leg
4.) Grilled corn on the cob
We are listening to your wants and can’t wait to see you all at our store as you enter town! How fun!
Keep it simple! Whatever you can provide that will allow for shorter lines and fast service. Same with prices. Even dollars and start you day with a large amount of small bills for change. You’ll see many $20.00 bills. If you can have shade that’s a huge bonus! not only for those already eating food, but while waiting in line. Set up a misting station. PVC pipe with tiny holes. Cheap setup that will pay large dividends. Tuff to ignore on a blistering hot day. btw, corn on the cob is a great side to any dish!
tomato sandwiches is brilliant, I’d buy 2 for $5. Just a slab of tomato on a bun. real mayonnaise. miracle whip is not mayo. let us put on our own mayo.
If there are some talented local musicians get them out on a stage of some sort. Last year a small town had a young woman who was verging on national level talent. Hundreds stopped and listened and were thoroughly appreciative.
Leon appears to have great opportunities for food vendors since the local restaurant count is extremely low.