Thousands of bicyclists from all over the state, country and abroad stopped in Chariton while it was a pass through town during RAGBRAI last Wednesday. The event was a smooth-wheeling success in terms of how it was organized and went, how the bicyclists behaved and were received and how the merchants did as well.
The earliest riders arrived in town between 8 and 8:30 a.m. Wednesday morning and the last ones left around 5 p.m.
The square was a sea of bicycles and riders along with a host of vendors that were set up as well. Chariton Area Chamber/Main Street Executive Director Katie Wilson said there were close to 40 vendors set up on the south and west side of the square.
Different vendors set up were selling a variety of foods such as doughnuts, burritos and smoothies. The Chariton Chamber Food Booth set up on the square sold macaroni and cheese for $4. Drinks such as water and Gatorade were provided to the riders and there were vendors selling clothing and jewelry.
Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Chariton was serving breakfast to RAGBRAI riders as well.
The Chariton Area Chamber/Main Street office had a Tourism Group set up at their welcome station in the Vision II Movie theater parking lot.
“We were pretty busy the whole time and shut down at 2 p.m. There were lots of riders from out of state that we met including from Florida, Arizona and South Carolina,” Wilson said.
“I think things went very smoothly. The riders told different people here that the event was well organized and thought out. One rider who had been on the ride for four days to that point said that Chariton was one of two pass through towns on the ride that had excellent signage,” Chariton RAGBRAI Committee Co-Chairperson Dave Hendricks said.
Read the July 30, 2019 edition of the Chariton Leader for the rest of the story.