RAGBRAI Route Inspection Pre-Ride Day 4 – Des Moines to Knoxville
Riders will venture to Downtown Knoxville for a celebration of Iowa culture featuring creations from Peace Tree Brewing Company, a variety of Iowa based bands scattered throughout Downtown, local and regional vendors, and pieces of Iowa history... “This is a little way for them to experience the Iowa State Fair without it actually being the Iowa State Fair. The Iowa State Fair is an annual state fair and is one of the largest state fairs in the country. Riders will be treated with a view of the beautiful bluffs and the Red Rock Dam at Iowa’s largest lake, Lake Red Rock, as they cross The Mile Long Bridge. All of our bands are Iowa-based or heavily Iowa-influenced, so this is going to be a great celebration of how great we are as a state. “We’re just excited to be a part of the celebration of the great ride across Iowa,” said Gary Slater, Iowa State Fair director. Lake Red Rock is Iowa’s Largest Lake with over 15,000 acres of water and 35,000 acres of land for your enjoyment. Heading back Downtown for main stage entertainment, riders will find the large shaded beverage garden, family friendly soda pop garden in front of the historic Grand Theater, and a continuation of the day’s entertainment proving Knoxville to be... Lush, multi-part harmonies and acoustic folk join forces with driving rhythms and interesting instrument combinations, including banjo, ukulele, trumpet and accordion. There sits a small replica of a building that used to be in the town of Red Rock, which is now flooded and has become Lake Red Rock. “A lot of people who go on RAGBRAI are from out of state or out of the country, so they’ve probably never been on the state fairgrounds,” said Kandi Reindl, assistant to the Des Moines city manager. ” Slater is encouraging fair vendors to open for business two weeks before the start of the Iowa State Fair Aug. Runnells was named for John S. Runnells, a former editorial writer for the Iowa State Register (which would eventually become The Des Moines Register) and private secretary for Governor Samuel Merrill. This is RAGBRAI’s first visit to Des Moines in 16 years and the first visit to the Iowa State Fairgrounds. On our ride out of Des Moines, riders will pedal up a steep hill past our Iowa State Capitol. The Diplomats of Solid Sound is a vibrant soul group based in Iowa City that performs original soul music with a modern garage band twist. This former coal town boomed in the late 1800’s, but a fire in 1892 burned down most of the buildings in town. Hailing from Des Moines, Brother Trucker has forged its own path as one of the most-respected and sought-after bands in Iowa’s Americana music scene. The Iowa State Fair always has great entertainment and this year is no exception. Riders will cruise down Grand Avenue, which also called the Grand Concourse, and then head south on Rock Island Avenue which is where most of the livestock barns are located. Monroe’s major project is the completion of our new Monroe Recreation Park on the Southwest corner of town. One of only a few buildings left standing in the small town of Runnells, Iowa. In addition to the annual state fair the fairgrounds also hosts auto shows, livestock exhibitions, flea markets, antique shows, concerts, trade shows and other events. Riders will need to save room for ice cream and be ready to milk the jersey cow at Jersey Freeze ice cream on the way out of town. As riders make their way into the downtown area, you will want to check out Red Rock Park. Iowa City’s Dustin Busch is a luthier by trade, whose respect for the guitar as an instrument is evident in the way he plays. Located at East 9th Street and Grand Avenue, the Capitol is set atop a hill and offers a panoramic view of the city’s downtown and the West Capitol Terrace. To date, the Kiwanis has raised $18,000 for the park, and a portion of the money raised during RAGBRAI will help further progress at the Monroe Recreation Park.
The 2013 Iowa State Fair will run August 8–18. Darren was already an accomplished guitarist and seasoned veteran to the Iowa music scene when the two met, but it wasn’t until later that they discovered their natural talent for performing together. Several mini-stages will be set up around the downtown entertainment area with one main stage on the Square surrounded by our Beverage and “Pop” Gardens. Stop by on your way through Runnells, sample some fine Iowa wines and ask the owners about the old bank. Riders will have an opportunity to take a pit stop at the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame & Museum, the world’s only museum dedicated to open wheel racing, to learn about the history and heritage of those who made the sport great. Their albums have won multiple awards and accolades, including a 2010 Independent Music Award for Best Blues CD for Joe’s album, “Rain or Shine”. While you never know what guitar he’ll bring to a show, it’s even more unpredictable how he’ll play it. What is predictable is that he’ll sound great. Located just north of Knoxville, the reservoir collects runoff and drainage from over 12,320 square miles of Iowa and southern Minnesota land. There is also a small eatery on the South side of town called the Monroe Diner and even more south visit Subway. There will be outside vendors in Monroe, but the local vendors are bringing all the flavor. Rosey Acres Winery is a small family owned boutique style winery which opened in 2006. Averaging over 150 shows per year, Coon Rapids native Chad Elliott has been on the road for more than a decade performing a blend of Americana, roots and country music. Home to the Marion County Historical Village, the County Park will be your hub for information, bike repairs, and the Downtown Shuttle stop. If you haven’t heard husband-and-wife duo, Joe & Vicki Price, you’re missing out on one of the best country blues acts on the scene today. A dynamic and energetic live act, this five-piece brings together Southern roots-rock with a distinctly Midwestern sound and blue-collar work ethic. Monroe has three bars around the square that riders will enjoy. There might even be a little snow to cool you down too… To top it all off, as you ride into town, you will be welcomed by the SEP Jazz Band. Along with the DJ at the beer garden, Monroe will have local talent performing on the bandstand. An adept fingerstyle guitarist and storyteller, Elliott has recorded 18 full-length albums and won multiple songwriting contests, including the Woody Guthrie Song Contest. Paired with the more traditional blues guitar structure and vocal twang of wife, Vicki, the two form a cohesive whole — evidence of many years performing together. No vendors will be set up in the town square itself, leaving a perfect shaded green space for visitors to sit back and relax. Lake Red Rocks has beautiful bluffs, especially in the fall when the leaves turn colors. After relaxing for lunch, riders will have the opportunity to pitch horseshoes, play sand volleyball, and join the local fire department for a water fight. The River Monks is a folk-pop and indie rock band from that current city. Knoxville is ready to show riders a Dam Good Time on the 41st RAGBRAI. The Southeast Polk band will be playing their hearts out as riding roll into town.