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August 5, 2014
by Jane Whitmore , Emmetsburg News

It's been two weeks, and people are still talking about RAGBRAI. Amid continued compliments, Emmetsburg is still riding the high of a job well done.

Chamber Director Deb Hite stresses, "The right people were in the right places." It required the entire community to host the 20,000 visitors associated with RAGBRAI?XLII.

Emmetsburg RAGBRAI committee chairs gathered for a "debriefing" at Edgewater BBQ last Thursday. Everyone shared stories -- more success stories and distress stories.

"We are 10 days after RAGBRAI and people are still sharing stories," said Deb Hite.

Some little known facts/stories popped up:

Michael Jacobson started his RAGBRAI day at 5:45 a.m. by calling a tow truck to assist a driver who got hung up across the ditch out by the college.

Park Board members Zeline Gappa and Marit Veltri cleaned and sanitized the Soper Park bathrooms every half hour for over eight hours on RAGBRAI day.

People in orange shirts (most names still unknown) stationed themselves on street corners and answered questions and gave directions throughout the day.

Comments from RAGBRAI riders included: friendly community, friendly people, very polite, very helpful. We were all good ambassadors for our community.

Financially, from what we have heard, everyone came out more than okay. The non-profit vendors had a very good day and so did the Emmetsburg restaurants.

Deb told the group that Tuesday morning was another big event: Kirby's used 80 dozen eggs that morning and Pizza Ranch had people waiting at the door.

The whole group laughed when it was decided that Michael set a record for having his name called over the radio the most. Most often it was LouAnn calling Michael with a request of what bike group was staying where.

Emmetsburg hit a home run with the bands:?One Layne Band was a big hit, along with Classical Blast and Johnny Holm Band. At the end of the day, Steve Finer and Troy Zimmerman, Dean VerMulm and Ben Hofstad thanked the vendors for being in Emmetsburg. Most vendors said that had never happened before.

Mark Hunefeld, Emergency Management, was happy there was no rain and no tornadoes. When people learned about Project Green Light, some thought that should be implemented RAGBRAI-wide.

Cheryl Darling praised her medical crew, saying they were wonderful. Over 125 were treated at first aid stations and 39 went through the Emergency Room.

Emmetsburg sold about 900 T-shirts, including some of the orange volunteer shirts, according to Deb Jones.

Emmetsburg Police Chief Eric Hanson said that five of the nine bicycles that were stolen have been recovered.

Steve and Greg Hoyman and families rode RAGBRAI from start to finish and worked the night they were in Emmetsburg. "All I heard was good,"Steve said. "Emmetsburg did a great job and Soper Park was a great spot. It was a great day."

"Emmetsburg should be proud. Committee members should be proud. It was a group effort and we should all be proud," Greg added.

RAGBRAI day was a day that the people of Emmetsburg worked together. There will be stories to share long into the winter months when we remember the summer day that we were an overnight host for RAGBRAI.



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