Committees taking shape for RAGBRAI
A local Executive Committee has formed to plan and coordinate this summer’s visit of thousands of bicyclists spending the night in Fairfield July 26, the final overnight stop of the 41st Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa.
“RAGBRAI sets the guidelines of committees, and we are following their schedule,” said Terry Baker, assistant director of Fairfield Iowa Convention and Visitors Bureau. “They’ve been doing this for 40 years, so their experience is very helpful.”
Baker and Rustin Lippincott, executive director of Fairfield Iowa Convention and Visitors Bureau, are co-secretaries of Fairfield’s RAGBRAI Executive Committee.
“The Executive Committee has named various co-chairs, responsible for different areas, and those co-chairs will add to their committees,” said Baker.
Anyone interested in working on a committee can call Baker at 472-2828 and she can direct people to a co-chair in their area of interest.
The co-chairs of the Executive Committee and areas of responsibility are:
• Michael Halley — housing, campgrounds, showers, recycling and volunteers.
• Dennis Lopp — Public relations, hospitality, web and social media updates, communications and information center.
• Tammy Jones — food, vendors, electricity, entertainment and beverage garden.
• Julie Harvey — public safety, Ride Right, medical care, law enforcement and transportation.
“These co-chairs will be seeking committee heads for each area of responsibility,” said Baker. “Several committee heads are needed.
Baker anticipates Fairfield will unveil its RAGBRAI theme near the end of March.
“We’ll hold a big town meeting and announce Fairfield’s theme,” she said. “RAGBRAI is still working out the exact roads between stops. Maybe we’ll have details on the routes by April.
“We’ll rely on the local community to volunteer use of yards, basements and showers for RAGBRAI riders,” she said. “We’re still contacting larger venues for sleeping and showers.”
All vendors and any one providing food in a location where they do not normally provide food, need to apply, pay a fee and be approved for RAGBRAI, said Baker.
“The RAGBRAI organization recommends clubs and organizations partnering up because it makes it more profitable than each entity competing against one another,” she said.
Fairfield Police Chief Harvey, with RAGBRAI ride experience, has named her committee heads for the various aspects she’s charged with overseeing.
Fairfield Community School District Auxiliary Services Director Fred McElwee will be in charge of transportation.
Joneane Parker, vice president of clinical services at Jefferson County Health Center, will be in charge of medical care.
Deb Arnold, a member of a local women’s group of bicycle riders, will head up the Ride Right campaign.
“It’s a program RAGBRAI uses each year to educate and inform riders about bike riding safety and appropriate gear,” said Harvey. “I’d like to see kids making posters about bicycle riding safety tips.”
Fairfield Police Capt. Dave Thomas and Jefferson County Emergency Management Coordinator Jerry Calnon are heading up public safety.
Fairfield Police Lt. Colin Smith and Jefferson County Sheriff Gregg Morton will oversee law enforcement for RAGBRAI.
“What would be really cool is during a 1st Fridays Art Walk before RAGBRAI have some type of workshop/demonstration about bike mechanics and repairs,” said Harvey.
Baker said anyone with questions or suggestion is welcome to contact her office.