Planning for RAGBRAI continues
RAGBRAI bikers will be riding through Jesup Thursday morning, July 29, following a scheduled overnight stop in Waterloo the night before. Mayor Chris Even chaired a meeting for potential vendors Thursday night, May 27. Represented were Boy Scouts Troop 95, Scouts BSA Troop 21 (girls), Farmers Day Inc, JHS Class of 2023, Team Reed, and Jesup Bible Fellowship. All shared thoughts of what they were thinking of selling.

Mayor Even shared some information from the RAGBRAI Pass-Through Town Handbook. Data from past rides show that 15% - 20% will eat breakfast in their overnight host town, but most will want to put in an hour or so, 10-15 miles, before stopping for breakfast. Of those, about half will want a full breakfast (pancakes, breakfast burritos, etc.) and half will want more grab-and-go type items, (cinnamon rolls, etc.) It was suggested to start signage around Raymond promoting the individual food stands. Once we have a final plan of what vendors are offering what services, the City could put together a flyer that could be distributed around the Waterloo campgrounds the night before.

A Jesup city permit will be required for all vendors. The permit fee for local vendors will be $50 for non-profits and $100 for for-profit businesses. Out of town vendors permit fee will be $400. Vendor fees will be utilized to offset costs of portable restrooms, garbage, additional police protection, etc. All vendor permit applications are due by June 25, 2021.

All food vendors will also need a food license through the state. Black Hawk County is the nearest regional office to issue a state permit. Because there is so much variety in food offerings, consult RAGBRAI Food Service and Licensing Resources|Iowa Department of Inspections & Appeals for guidance in obtaining a permit.

A RAGBRAI “push team” will be pushing the cyclists through in order to get them to their next overnight stop by 6 pm. They will require vendors to close for one hour in order to push the majority on their way. After the one-hour closure, vendors may reopen to serve stragglers or locals.

The vendors present talked about ways to promote Jesup – ideas included painting the windows of Young Street businesses like the high schoolers do during Homecoming week, chalking Sixth Street, and creating a big welcome banner. It was suggested that we have a theme. Farmers Day Inc. volunteered that flags could be placed along 220th Street promoting the 9/11 Never Forget Farmers Day theme as part of the “Welcome to Jesup”.

Other information included in the Pass-Through Town Handbook included four basic things that each town should offer: water, food, bathrooms, and shade. As part of our hospitality, Jesup might want to offer an Information Center. We might want to consider a website or Facebook page, and we should try to involve the whole community, from daycare to assisted living.

The next RAGBRAI vendor meeting will be Thursday, June 10, 7:00 p.m. at City Hall.
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