The logo for RAGBRAI’s first overnight stop in Iowa City in 42 years was revealed during a press conference at MERGE on Tuesday morning.
Joshua Schamberger, president of Think Iowa City, explained that the logo was designed to incorporate the Old Capitol — “the most iconic building both in the city and the University of Iowa campus” — and combine cycling with a nod to Iowa City’s status as a UNESCO City of Literature.
“So how do you connect the book world to the cycling world?” Schamberger said. “That’s where we’ve created the play on words: ‘Book it to Iowa City.’”
In addition to the logo unveiling, the speakers at the press conference also provided some information about how the city will greet the RAGBRAI participants on Friday, July 27, following their 57.6 mile ride from Sigourney.
“We will shut down the streets of downtown Iowa City to cars and establish an open container area,” said Nancy Bird, executive director of the Iowa City Downtown District. Bird said the events downtown would be similar to the 2017 Downtown Block Party.
“Entertainment will include several stages of live music, games and other surprise elements that will be announced at later dates as plans are finalized,” she explained.
The main stage will be at the intersection of Clinton Street and Iowa Avenue, adjacent to the Pentacrest and featuring the Old Capitol as a backdrop.
Unlike most overnight cities, Iowa City will not be setting up a municipal beer garden as a way of raising money to cover RAGBRAI-related expenses. Instead, visitors will be encouraged to patronize downtown restaurants and bars.
“We’re extremely excited to announce that the last night of RAGBRAI will highlight the culinary offerings of over 100 of our downtown restaurants and bars,” Bird said.
Iowa City will be relying heavily on sales of merchandise with the official Iowa City RAGBRAI logo to cover costs.
“T-shirt sales are a huge part of the financial equation to make this work,” Iowa City Manager Geoff Fruin said. “So, please go out and purchase a T-shirt.”
The shirts are available on the Iowa City RAGBRAI website. Anyone interested in helping with RAGBRAI can register to volunteer on the site, as well.
Any funds left over after all the RAGBRAI expenses are covered will be donated to the United Way of Johnson and Washington Counties.
— RAGBRAI Iowa City (@RAGBRAI_IC) April 17, 2018