Okoboji, IA and surrounding communities prepare for RAGBRAI - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

Okoboji, IA and surrounding communities prepare for RAGBRAI

OKOBOJI, Iowa (KTIV) - Several communities in the Iowa Great Lakes are thinking ahead. That's because at the end of July, bike riders from across the country and even other continents will take a two-wheel tour of the area for The Register's Annual Great Bike Ride Across Iowa, also known as, RAGBRAI.

The riders will be coming through Spirit Lake, Okoboji, Arnolds Park, and Milford. 

"I'm just excited to showcase Okoboji and the surrounding communities to people worldwide," Okoboji RAGBRAI Publicity Chair Megan Carstens said.

Ragbrai committee members said it's the first time the Okoboji area has been an overnight stop.

"We're going to have riders camping in pretty much all of those four towns, so they're going to be able to see what all of those towns have to offer," Carstens said.

"This is a fantastic opportunity for us to show off an area that we all know an love," Okoboji RAGBRAI Executive Board Co-Chair Carina Woodward said.

Even though, the beaches and lakes are covered with snow now, RAGBRAI committee members said they're are focused on the future.

"There's a lot of work ahead. Right now, we really need volunteers," Woodward said.

Woodward said they will need more than 800 volunteers to help out with a range of jobs, from greeting riders to deciding where to put porta potties. 

Along with recruiting volunteers, she said the committee is also working on getting local sponsors.

"The benefits outweigh the costs when it comes to something like this. It's really a great opportunity for all area businesses," Woodward said.

Preservation Plaza in Arnolds Park has already been chosen as the central meeting area for riders.

"There will be live music there. We'll have food, vendors, a beverage garden. It's just a really a lot of fun activity centered around the lakes area," Woodward said.

And, committee members said they're hoping the rider's stop in the Great Lakes shows them how great the area really is and that they'll want to come back and spend more time there.

If you have an idea for the Okoboji RAGBRAI committee or want to get involved, you can find more information on their Facebook page or website. Woodward said you can also e-mail the committee at ragbrai@vacationokoboji.com

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