Riders leaving Cedar Falls as RAGBRAI Day 5 begins - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Riders leaving Cedar Falls as RAGBRAI Day 5 begins

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HIAWATHA (KWWL) -

Police say they have more than 20 officers at intersections in Cedar Falls directing traffic as riders leave town this morning.

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A lot has changed in Hiawatha since the last time RAGBRAI pedaled through town.

City crews in Hiawatha tell KWWL RAGBRAI rolled through back in 2004.

This year some 15,000 cyclists are expected to arrive some time Thursday.

“More than doubling the population of Hiawatha,” said volunteer Lois Byers. “And that's just the riders.”

Close to 400 Hiawathans helped city crews Wednesday set up tents, bring in tables and chairs ahead of Thursday's arrival.

The city plans to have live music and a ton of fun and games for the family as riders camp out for the night. 

Even electric crews from Hawkeye Electric were at Guthridge Park Wednesday afternoon, installing more power to the park.

“It's a beautiful day to be able to do it,” said Hiawatha City Administrator Kim Downs. “Along with all of our streets guys and park guys are out here working their hearts out getting the fencing up for setting up perimeters, we're got vendors coming in, there's just so much going on and it's people every where and it's just a lot of fun.”

Even though Downs says the prep work is fun, they're taking a serious approach when it comes to security.

The Hiawatha Police Department and the city has an agreement with other jurisdictions in the area to ensure more officers and safety in and around Guthridge Park as riders make their way into town.

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