Downtown decorations and last-minute planning are underway for the arrival of RAGBRAI riders tomorrow in Webster City. Making all that happen are the local volunteers that have worked to make the event managable, according to co-chair of the hospitality committee Mike Dohms.
In addition to the 10 people staying at his house on Tuesday night, Dohms has been working on projects since April. He said it would have not been possible without the support of numerous volunteers.
"It surprised me, pleasantly, how so many in the community have signed up to volunteer," Dohms said. "They have been dedicated to working with us every week to work on projects."
- Daily Freeman-Journal
photos by Jim Krajewski
Mark Dohms and John Bohan are among the volunteers who plan and organize the Webster City RAGBRAI welcome.
Those projects have included many of the decorative bikes seen around town, an art contest, and photo-ops in downtown. Dohms also credited residents of Webster City who have taken to decorating and displaying their own bikes around town.
John Bohan of the entry committee said it has been amazing to see people coming together to make Webster City look great.
"The city has been spruced up a lot for RAGBRAI. People seem to be taking great lengths to make the city look nice."
Mona Everson of the welcoming committee, with 30 people staying at her home, will also be keeping busy at the Mornin' Glory coffee shop. She has also been instructing her staff at Life and Health Care Inc. with route information for RAGBRAI so they can continue home care services amongst many closed streets.
Everson said she bought a bike to traverse Webster City during RAGBRAI. Her co-worker at Mornin' Glory Elizabeth Johnson said they have their yellow shirts ready and are bracing for incoming riders.
"We're both getting ready for the crowds and knowing it's going to be a very hectic day," Johnson said.
While Dohms said the days leading up to RAGBRAI have also been very hectic, working with neighborhoods along the route, setting up decorations and coordinating many people, he said the experience has better acquainted him with many people in the community. People he had only seen around town have now become friends after working closely with him for weeks, even months.
Dohms said RAGBRAI brought only a fraction of the riders expected tomorrow the last time it came through Webster City. However, he said his committee has been graced with many creative and positive people which has made the experience manageable and worthwhile.
Bohan said it will be interesting to see how all of the volunteer's work culminates tomorrow with the arrival of the riders.
"I hope theh people that come here on the route will have as much fun as the people that we've been working with," Bohan said.