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Decorah WILL be a RAGBRAI pass-through town

Posted: Fri, Mar 10, 2017 8:11 AM

RAGBRAI organizers have announced Decorah will be a pass-through community on RAGBRAI XLV on July 28th.

RAGBRAI organizers had originally planned to avoid Decorah because Nordic Fest is happening on that day.  But many Decorah residents and business owners reached out to RAGBRAI organizers to support having the ride come through Decorah, according to Decorah Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Kristina Wiltgen.  She said, "We are very excited to find a compromise that allows RAGBRAI and Nordic Fest to overlap."

In the end, RAGBRAI organizers decided to pass through Decorah with the bike ride because they felt it is the safest for all participants.  Decorah will be the first stop on the Friday route following an overnight stop in Cresco.  RAGBRAI will declare Friday "College Spirit Day," highlighting Luther College.

Said Decorah City Manager Chad Bird, "Because of the excitement over the new hotel, our local breweries and renewed focus on recreation and tourism, there is enthusiasm about this announcement."

RAGBRAI was last in Decorah in 1999, when the city served as an overnight stop.

The route for 2017 will bring riders through Decorah in the morning hours. Decorah will be able to welcome riders in the morning hours and leave most of the day open to traditional Nordic Fest activities.

Nordic Fest president Laurie Meinholz said the RAGBRAI pass through "will allow us to showcase Decorah's traditional Nordic Fest to a new audience and a large group of cyclists who may not otherwise attend."

A RAGBRAI planning committee will be created.  If you are interested in serving on the committee, call Kristina Wiltgen at (563) 382-3990 or email