January 25, 2021

RAGBRAI is Newton’s rededication

In less than 48 hours, Newton will play ambassador to an estimated 25,000 people when The Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa descends on our community for a night of music, entertainment, comradery and community.

For Newton, being a RAGBRAI overnight destination is an opportunity to further reinforce our identity as a great place to work and live, and can solidify our reputation as a hub of small-town Iowa nice just outside the Des Moines metro area.

Newton’s RAGBRAI Committee and its dozens of dedicated volunteers have donated hundreds of man-hours to make our city ready to receive the riders, their support teams and the attention of the entire state for 24-jam-packed hours.

But the work is still not done. All Newton citizens have the chance to show our city’s hospitality to RAGBRAI visitors. Volunteering your time to welcome riders as they pedal into the city will go a long way to set the tone. Come down to North Second Avenue near Newton’s DMACC Campus to wave, applaud and say “Aloha” any time from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday as rider’s pedal into our community.

We can also join Newton RAGBRAI volunteers to say “Mahalo” (thank you) to the riders as they prepare to leave Newton on Thursday, from 6 a.m. and 9 a.m., lining East 12th Street South between South Eighth Avenue East and South 3rd Avenue East.

The hundreds of food and retail vendors and hours of music are not just for the RAGBRAI visitors. We can all pack the downtown square Wednesday night to keep the energy high for riders through the night.

In the decade since Maytag’s departure, Newton has rebounded with new industry, thousands of new jobs and we’re actively beautifying the community. We already know what makes Newton our home, let’s show the rest of the state why they should “Get to Know Newton.”

Contact the Newton Daily News Editorial Board at newsroom@newtondailynews.com