Fairfield Ledger

Mt. Pleasant News   Wash Journal
Neighbors Growing Together | Nov 22, 2017

Fairfield’s RAGBRAI theme unveiled

By ANDY HALLMAN | Mar 13, 2013
Fairfield’s logo and theme for RAGBRAI were revealed at a press conference this morning. Josie Hannes designed the logo pictured, which will be used in promotional materials.

Fairfield is going with a circus-inspired design for its RAGBRAI logo and theme.

The theme and accompanying logo were revealed this morning during a press conference at the Fairfield Arts & Convention Center. Fairfield’s theme is “Cirque de Fairfield,” and its slogan is “Hold on to your handlebars.”

The theme and logo will be incorporated into advertisements, posters, webpages and any other method of communicating RAGBRAI’s arrival to the public.

Dennis Lopp, co-chairman of the Fairfield RAGBRAI publicity committee, said the publicity committee liked the circus theme but wanted to do something just a little bit different, which is why it chose to put “cirque” in the title. The name of Fairfield’s theme was inspired by the French-Canadian traveling circus “Cirque du Soleil.”

Below the logo reads the phrase, “Defying Gravity.” Lopp said this catchphrase has to do with exceeding the public’s expectations about what Fairfield can accomplish for RAGBRAI.

“We hope to create an event that just blows their minds,” he said. “We want it to go beyond what people think Fairfield is capable of, and maybe even beyond what we as citizens think we’re capable of.”

The Fairfield RAGBRAI publicity committee plans to play on the slogan by incorporating handlebar mustaches into the festivities. In fact, the committee hopes to break a Guinness World Record by getting as many people as possible to wear handlebar mustaches when the cyclists come to town.

The current record-holder is Michigan Laughfest, which holds the record for most mustaches worn at a festival with 1,544. Lopp said he believed Fairfield could break that record.

“The handlebars will be a costume for people,” Lopp said. “It’s going to be July and hot, so the costume will be an easy way for people to be festive and show their participation.”

The publicity committee has been working on developing the RAGBRAI theme over the last few weeks. Each overnight community along the RAGBRAI route sets a theme for their event. Fairfield’s committee was encouraged to be creative and highlight how unique and fun the town is.

Terry Baker, one of the co-secretaries of Fairfield’s RAGBRAI Executive Committee, said she and the publicity committee met with RAGBRAI staff, who helped the committee understand the keys to an effective theme.

“They commented that everyone knows Fairfield is unique,” she said. “A lot of that has to do with the cultures that intermix here. They encouraged us to find a theme that really embraced that. The riders want to experience what makes us unique. It came down to looking at our assets and deciding what best synthesizes all those things into a theme.”

Baker anticipates the town’s residents will use the theme to decorate their homes and their lawns.

Josie Hannes designed the logo pictured on this page. She said it was not especially difficult to do since she designs graphics for a living.

“It was easy because we were so excited about it, and that energy rubbed off on me,” she said. “I just jotted down ideas of clouds and circus-type graphics. It came to life really easily.”

“We wanted a theme that was colorful and fun and that we could build a great experience around,” she said. “We also wanted to be able to use many of the talented musicians and dancers that we have in the community.”

Ketan Shah, a member of the publicity committee, said he is behind the logo and slogan 100 percent.

“I think it’s going to be a lot of fun,” he said. “My philosophy is: Go big or go home. I want to help the committee promote it to make this the biggest and best RAGBRAI there is.”

Shah said his committee will meet every Saturday until the riders come to town July 26. He said the RAGBRAI committees still need many more volunteers.

Those interested in volunteering can contact Baker at 472-2828.

RAGBRAI Director T.J. Juskiewicz said in a press release this year’s route is a “river-to-river ride” trading in larger city stops for small towns.

“There are some great little spots — good-size towns, large communities

and diverse towns that RAGBRAIers enjoy,” he said. “Plus, they like showing off what there is to do. This is the biggest event they’ll host this year, and in some cases, in their history.”

Juskiewicz estimated the ride brings an average of about $3 million in spending to the communities on the designated route. He added that approximately 70 percent of RAGBRAI participants come from other states and countries.


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