Let’s talk RAGBRAI in Pott. County, ladies and gentlemen! It’s going right through our back-door and whether you want to ride a piece, be the locals they party with, cheer for the bikers, or serve up some food for an organization fundraiser, we have the scoop on the local towns’ offerings!
If you don’t know already, bikers will start in Council Bluffs with the opening ceremonies on Saturday night and then the masses will ride through Underwood, an optional route through McClelland, Neola, Minden, Avoca, and Walnut all in Pott Co. before hitting Atlantic on Sunday evening. Each year, the ride has more bikers and more fans and more parties.
As locals, it’s our job to not only make them feel welcome, but why not join in the festivities ourselves? It’s a day to celebrate in whatever form you prefer, but let’s give them some Iowa-Nice they won’t forget!
All the towns have fun stuff planned and something just a little unexpected! Take your pick or hit them all!
Underwood will be having Sasquatch, the Jack Link’s mascot, welcoming people to town and guests can take selfies with Sasquatch and the Friends of Underwood group! The firemen will be offering pancakes and sausage at the Fire Hall and UMBA will have a beer garden and band to get those Sunday morning juices going! The route will be 3rd Street to 1st Ave. to 2nd Street and back to Railroad Highway to Neola with 8 vendors along the way!
Neola is the next stop and they are ready to feed you! The Neola Fire Department will serve breakfast burritos. The Neola Betterment Corporation will have iced coffees and smoothies. Lions Club will be selling homemade pie and breakfast pizza. Theisens’ Cleaning will be selling “refreshments.” Michele’s will have chicken sandwiches and parfaits while Burrito Envy will have burritos, tacos, burrito bowls, with chips and salsa, too. However, Neola is also offering some unique entertainment with the live band, Finding Dixie, and the DJ Wine on Wheels! Plus, if you haven’t heard of Milkweed Matters, the organization will be there giving out seedballs for bikers to throw on their route for the purpose of encouraging butterflies and other pollinators.
Minden follows Neola. Minden has rented a giant tent with tables, chairs, and plenty of shade for everyone traveling through! The Fire Hall will be selling water and t-shirts (never know what they might be!). Minden Meat Market will be doing walking tacos, hot dogs, cheeseburgers, and smoked cheddar bacon burgers (yum!) on the main drag. Minden Bowl will be your stop for beer and tenderloins, and the church ladies will be ready with some homemade yummies, too!
Avoca is named the official “lunch” stop and will have 30 vendors. They will also have waterslides and free pool admission along with a beer garden provided by the golf course and a live band will be playing at The Exchange. Bikers are also encouraged to stop in at The Sweet Vale of Avoca Museum and the East Pottawattamie County Fair. The fair will be having their poultry, rabbit, cat, and dog show, as well as a tractor pull in the afternoon. Avoca will also be hosting a town-wide scavenger hunt. If you find all the signs around town with letters on them, unscramble the word, take selfies at each of the locations and post to the City of Avoca Facebook page and like the page, you will be entered in the drawing for an Avoca Vacation Package! If you have questions about that or anything else, an Information Booth will also be located at the corner of Wool and Elm Streets. It will be a “wheelie sweet time” for everyone!
Finally, Walnut will be the last Pott. Co. stop of the day and they want everybody to “Go Nuts in Walnut!” You gotta love it when they go big with their theme. Lol. They will be hosting Nut Pong where you’ll grab a nut bucket and play pong. If you have the most nuts in the bucket, you win a prize! They will also have a Nut Dig, too. Find the real nut in the fake ones to win. If games aren’t your thing, but selfies are, the oversized penny farthing (a high-wheeled bicycle) will be available for pics and a local celeb will be milling as Uncle Sam on stilts. The bicycle will be located at the corner of Antique City Drive and Highland St. They also want to encourage people to have a root beer float at the Walnut Historical Museum, as well as check out all their cool shops, as Walnut was named Iowa’s Antique City in 1985! B Restored & Mabel’s Old Fashion Rose will be serving wine and Glenn’s, the local bar with a Clydesdale horse mural, will also be open. Marne Elk Horn Communications will have WiFi stations set up and a beer garden with DJ, Jam Time DJ Productions, will be presented by the Walnut Community Center Foundation as a fundraiser for the old school being converted into a community center. And if that isn’t enough, they will be selling t-shirts with the Walnut RAGBRAI logo on them for $14 and, the popular “bike nuts” better known as handmade stress balls shaped as walnuts and connected with a chain to display proudly on your bike or that rear-view mirror (a mere $8). OH, and yes, they will have food, too! Lol. Grilled burgers and hot dogs and pulled pork will be sold by the Walnut Optimist Club and a local church will be selling homemade pie and ice cream.
Truly, a good time is meant to be had! Like I said - ride, watch, volunteer, drink, play, whatever you want – just show up! They’ll be happy to see you! #SupportLocal #PottCounty #SeeIowa #RAGBRAI