Coralville Readies for RAGBRAI® - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Coralville Readies for RAGBRAI®

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CORALVILLE (KWWL) -

The countdown to RAGBRAI® is on. In just 16 days and a matter of hours, riders will take off from Glenwood, making their way across Iowa to the final stop in Davenport. On the weeklong ride this year's overnight stops are: Atlantic, Carroll, Boone, Altoona and Grinnell. Coralville is the last overnight stay before the tires are dipped into the Mississippi in Davenport.

Mark Wiatt is among thousands of people preparing for RAGBRAI, their favorite week of the year. A celebration of all things two-wheeled, and all things Iowa.

"You know, you get to see the state in a much different light. There's hospitality all over the state all the time and that really makes the big difference," said Wiatt.

Hospitality is shifting into full gear in Coralville, where volunteers are preparing to welcome riders to Hawkeye country.

"Our slogan is -- Tailgate Tested, Tailgate Approved," said Laurie Haman, the vice-president of the Iowa City - Coralville Area Convention and Visitor's Bureau.

Haman said choosing a theme was the easy part. Now, they're tasked with going over every detail to make riders feel like they're pulling into Kinnick Stadium on game day.

"Bleachers on the sides, the streets painted green with yard markers," said Haman.

"To be able to roll into the simulated Kinnick in the middle of Coralville, I think that's going to be outstanding," said Wiatt.

Regular RAGBRAI riders will tell you, pulling into a town with a ton of energy can make a big difference in your mood and your motivation for the day to come.

"When you get people cheering, get that excitement, see the festivities, you really start to have fun and forget that your legs are tired and you're sweaty," Wiatt noted.

And it doesn't matter whether you cheer for the black and gold or red and gold. All they care about is that you have fun.

"A lot of friendships are made on RAGBRAI. You meet people from all over the nation and the world and they have a lot of great stories to tell, and it is a lot of fun. It is a lot of fun," said Haman.

Organizers are still looking for volunteers to help out during the event, as well as people to act as host families for riders. They're planning tons of activities and events, including live music from "38 Special" and a college mascot battle, hosted by Herky the Hawkeye.

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