RAGBRAI® Orange City, Iowa featured on KTIV News-Sioux City, Iowa.
RAGBRAI® Orange City, Iowa featured on KCAU News-Sioux City, Iowa.
Over 200 people were introduced to Orange City’s distinct theme as the starting overnight host town for RAGBRAI® XLV during a Town Hall Event on Monday, April 24. “Dutch ‘til Dawn” reflects the community’s Dutch heritage and hospitality – and the city’s architectural style – which has made Orange City a popular tourist destination for its annual spring Tulip Festival. This summer, thousands of riders, support crew, visitors, and vendors will experience being “Dutch until dawn” as they spend the night in the Northwest Iowa town of 6,000 before the first leg of the Register’s Annual Great Bike Ride Across Iowa on July 23. The Orange City RAGBRAI logo, which will serve as the visual identity for the host community’s summer event, incorporates the town’s theme into a colorful and characteristic design. (See caption/sidebar for information about the development of the theme and logo/identity.)
Another big “reveal” during the town hall event was the entertainment scheduled for the main stage in Windmill Park on July 22. The headliner, Pop Rocks, is a high energy live music show that plays the biggest dance party hits – from today’s top 40 and throwback hip-hop, to pop country and timeless classics. Opening for Pop Rocks will be Judd Hoos, an American rock band based in the Black Hills that has opened for national acts across the U.S.
The Orange City RAGBRAI hospitality committee then introduced two ways that community members can create a truly inviting and memorable atmosphere for riders and visitors. Residents are encouraged to decorate their property with a variety of old bikes and accessories that will be collected by the committee, and businesses are invited to adorn their storefronts and windows for the occasion. A “Light It Up Orange City” initiative is designed to spark community-wide beautification for the week RAGBRAI is in town. Residents are asked to hang white lights on their homes and in their yards. The goal is to provide soft ambient lighting in the neighborhoods as guests walk and bike throughout the community – from the downtown area featuring entertainment, vendors, and a beverage garden … to the campgrounds and other housing facilities. A local “celebrity judge” will choose winning “Light It Up” homes and businesses, whose residents and employees will be invited to a special block party and a free meal.
Also shared at the Town Hall Event was information about a children’s art contest, housing and volunteer opportunities, and the sale of Orange City RAGBRAI logoed T-shirts. The winners of T-shirts and a child’s bike were announced, and attendees were able to visit with committee members at specific break-out booths.
Updates regarding Orange City RAGBRAI are posted at ragbrai.orangecityiowa.com and on the Orange City RAGBRAI Facebook page. The 2017 RAGBRAI (Register’s Annual Great Bike Ride Across Iowa) is July 23-29.
Caption/Sidebar About the Theme and Logo
Orange City RAGBRAI’s theme, “Dutch ‘til Dawn,” was dreamed up by fifth grader Avery Kelch. According to Avery, after hearing a lot of “bad ideas” for a theme from her dad, she wanted to come up with something creative about “visitors staying overnight in our Dutch town.” Avery says that the theme represents Orange City’s Dutch heritage, as well as inviting people to experience the fun and traditions the community has to offer. “Our visitors will join us in being Dutch while in Orange City until they leave in the morning,” she said.
The logo/visual identity for Orange City RAGBRAI was designed by Vaughn Donahue of Destination Graphic. The goal of the logo was to “capture the personality of Orange City while also engaging RAGBRAI elements as a nod to welcoming visiting riders.” Bicycle elements include a bike tire border and spokes that double as the sun’s rays. The path represents the memorable ride visitors will experience in the town, represented by a windmill. The blue water represents the start of the RAGBRAI route, with the traditional dipping of bike tires in Missouri River water, which will flow in the canal in Orange City’s Windmill Park.
The 2017 Register’s Annual Great Bike Ride Across Iowa, or RAGBRAI will be kicking off in just a couple of months.
The starting location isn’t far from the Sioux Empire, in Orange City Iowa.
“Down here this block will be one entrance for our beer garden,” says Orange City Chamber of Commerce executive director Mike Hofman as he points out where the festivities will take place. “Our main stage will be over in that corner .”
Downtown Orange City may be calm right now.
But come July 22, more than 25,000 people, which is four times Orange City’s population, from all over the world will be filling the streets for the kickoff of the 45th annual RAGBRAI event.
“I’ve talked to people in Germany, southeast Asia, South America and England,” says Hofman.
Hofman says hosting the upcoming events is a huge opportunity.
It will showcase to thousands what Orange City has to offer.
“We have a Dutch front store program that the city implemented which makes our downtown very unique,” says Hofman.
And it could pedal a huge economic impact.
“One of the things they tell you about an hour after RAGBRAI announces that were they’re go-in, the phone starts ringing in the hotels,” says Hofman. “Those are full. We expect our outlining restaurants to have a great weekend that weekend. Certainly our downtown businesses will have exposure.”
The northwest Iowa town is no stranger to RAGBRAI.
It’s been along the route before, but never the start of it.
Hofman says this requires a little more hands-on-deck.
“We have close to 200 volunteers volunteering and working right now and that will only continue to grow as we get farther into the process.”
Volunteers who are getting ready to set up more than 80 vendors, bouncy houses, beer gardens and create a stage for live music.
“It’s definitely a lot of work, but we are really excited for the opportunity,” says Hofman.
After taking off in Orange City on July 23, the riders will head east.
They’ll travel more than 400 miles over the course of a week ending in Lansing.