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DeWitt Ready for RAGBRAI

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Day Six of this year's RAGBRAI

The city of DeWitt is preparing to welcome a lot of new people. On Friday, this year's RAGBRAI will come into town after spending the night in Anamosa.

The Executive Director of the DeWitt Chamber and Development Company, Angela Rheingans, says organizers of the the Register's Annual Great Bike Ride Across Iowa have told her to expect 25,000 people. She's hoping this'll boost tourism for her town of just 5,300.

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"We don't realize we're small, we do things big. Our downtown is beautiful, we have wonderful parks that can accommodate 25,000 people to camp. We're just really confident that this is going to be a great experience for them, so we feel we're going to have some of these riders come back as visitors."

And after suffering during the pandemic, she's hoping this'll also help local non-profits and businesses.

"This is an opportunity for them - to do a sloppy joe dinner like our Noon Lions are doing, or a turkey and dressing sandwich like one of our churches is doing. It's an opportunity for our non-profits to raise money and then our local businesses to really step it up for a day and really generate a lot of increased revenue."

Rheingans says the last time DeWitt hosted the ride was in 1994, but it was just a "drive through" town and not an overnight stop.

After spending Friday night in DeWitt, riders will travel to Clinton on Saturday where they'll officially end this year's RAGBRAI by dipping their tires in the Mississippi River, seven days after starting at the Missouri River.