Iowa City RAGBRAI announces theme, entertainment venue, and charity beneficiary


Thousands of RAGBRAI riders and their support crews will Book it to Iowa City on Friday, July 27, 2018, for an overnight stop.

The 2018 Iowa City RAGBRAI theme and logo

The theme, Book it to Iowa City, represents Iowa City’s designation as a UNESCO City of Literature, and the logo depicts the University of Iowa’s Herky mascot riding a bicycle with the Old Capitol in the background — all important features of the community.

“Iowa City is as proud of our educational and literary heritage as we are of Herky and the Hawkeyes,” said Josh Schamberger, president of the Iowa City/Coralville Area Convention and Visitors Bureau and executive committee member. “We couldn’t be more excited to welcome riders and writers from across the country and around the world to the City of Literature for RAGBRAI XLVI.”

Iowa City will be an overnight stop for RAGBRAI on Friday, July 27. RAGBRAI is the Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa, which this year will begin in Onawa on July 21 and end in Davenport on July 28. The annual event draws about 12,000 cyclists from around the world. Iowa City last hosted RAGBRAI in 1976.

The community will see a significant spending boost during the overnight stop, Schamberger said.

“An estimated $1.2 million in direct spending was made locally when RAGBRAI stopped in Coralville in 2015,” Schamberger said. “This will be a big day for hundreds of local businesses that will cater to the riders and those who come to Iowa City to take part in the festivities.”

Downtown Iowa City will be the hub of entertainment in block-party style on July 27, said Nancy Bird, executive director of the Downtown Association and member of the executive committee.

“RAGBRAI riders should expect a truly authentic Iowa City cultural and culinary experience,” Bird said. “Not only is Iowa City home to the Hawkeyes, but also to more than 100 restaurants and bars that will provide exceptional local flavor and what we hope will be the best experience in RAGBRAI history.”

The headline act will be announced soon, Bird said.

In addition, the United Way of Johnson and Washington Counties has been selected as the recipient of proceeds generated during the overnight stay. During RAGBRAI’s overnight stop in Coralville in 2015, more than $10,000 was donated to the Community Foundation of Johnson County’s Coralville Community Fund and the Iowa City Community School District.

“Because of the United Way’s community impact and its direct role in helping recruit and manage volunteers for RAGBRAI, we are very pleased to announce that all proceeds from Iowa City’s overnight stop will be donated to the United Way of Johnson and Washington Counties,” said Geoff Fruin, Iowa City’s city manager and member of the executive committee. “Johnson County is fortunate to have such a strong network of social service agencies, and the United Way is a big reason why many of our nonprofit agencies are able to help so many people in our community.”

To volunteer to help with the overnight stop, sign up to provide housing or camping space to riders, purchase an official T-shirt, or inquire about a sponsorship, go to

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