RAGBRAI begins, Mason City gears up for up to 30,000 riders and guests

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(ABC 6 News) – RAGBRAI, an eight day bike ride across Iowa, started Sunday. On July 27, those more than 18,000 riders will arrive in Mason City.

The last time RAGBRAI was in Mason City was in 2014. This time around the city is expecting the event to be much bigger with close to 30,000 riders and supporters coming into the city from all around Iowa.

Mason City’s population is around 27,000 people.

Bikers will camp out at parks and at schools around the city. Officials will have to close roads throughout town to accommodate their guests.

The event is called “Ride of the Century: Where the road ends, the party begins.”

“And that is Mason City. We’ve got amazing support from a lot of community members. Our community is phenomenal,” said Steve Bailey, who is on the RAGBRAI Mason City advisory board.

The event brought in over $3 million in 2014, and the city is expecting an even bigger economic impact this year.

There will be performances and vendors all day on the 27, including Don Fleder formerly of the Eagles and Suga Ray.

An interactive map for residents, businesses, and RAGBRAI guests to help provide guidance on traffic, camping locations, and downtown closures can be found HERE.