Tag Archives: Orange City

Bike Adventure Starts in Siouxland, Orange City

20 Aug

Every year RAGBRAI ( Des Moines- Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa) begins somewhere in western Iowa and most times begins somewhere is Siouxland. The ride has been going on since the 1970’s and continues to grow each year drawing riders from across the U.S. and even from some other countries.

John Potter, left, and dad Dale Potter of Knoxville, TN, will ride their 4th RAGBRAI (Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa) event which begins in Orange City, Iowa, Saturday July 12, 2017. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Participants line up to sign in for the kickoff and the ride for RAGBRAI (Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa) event which begins in Orange City, Iowa, Saturday July 12, 2017. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

A convivial recreational bike ride that stops each night in communities along the way and where people celebrate summer with food, music, and an opportunity for even smaller communities to highlight themselves and entertain a genial crowd while boosting their economy.

Instead of Tulip Festival and Dutch history associated items, biking gear and accessories are found on the main drag for the kickoff of RAGBRAI (Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa) event which begins in Orange City, Iowa, Saturday July 12, 2017. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Normally Orange City, which hosted the start of the ride, is known for its celebration of its Dutch heritage and its annual Tulip Festival that draws thousands each May to enjoy in the community celebration. This year it was decked out in all things bike. And visitors and residents alike got into the spirit of it.

Brother and sister Chloe and Sam Nonhof hope some bike riders stop by to buy lemonade from them as the kickoff for the RAGBRAI (Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa) event which begins in Orange City, Iowa, Saturday July 12, 2017. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Residents spruce up their yards fand reflect a little of their Dutch roots or the kickoff for the RAGBRAI (Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa) event which begins in Orange City, Iowa, Saturday July 12, 2017. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

A rider participant wears a tee shirt in an ode to Iowa that the pretty much sums up the RAGBRAI (Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa) event which begins in Orange City, Iowa, Saturday July 12, 2017. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Personally I like to bike, but not in crowds, but the atmosphere of the day before the start of the ride was of a celebration with people enjoying summer time and all that the week ahead would provide. And this year participants were lucky because a heat wave with high humidity was passing and cooler weather was flowing into Iowa making the days with some 50-60 miles of riding more bearable.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

 

2014 Siouxland Tulip Time, Orange City

25 May

A week ago Orange City, Iowa, celebrated its annual Tulip Festival over the weekend. Two parades a day Thursday, Friday and Saturday with local marching bands and floats. The residents of Orange City take great pride in their Dutch heritage, dressing in traditional costumes and serving somewhat “authentic” food, as well as providing a carnival. This year was no different. I have been many times over the past few years and always enjoy the spectacle, seeing, most times, a profusion of tulips in bloom around the downtown area along the boulevards and in people’s yards. That is unless cold weather dampens the occasion. This year there were tulips but not as many as previous years as this spring has been unusually cool.

But still, sunny days and traditions and parades, make it a good time.

 

When the time rolls around again next year, I will be wandering the streets downtown looking for photo opportunities and watching a community genuinely enjoy itself, bringing its heritage to life for its weekend guests who stop by to see for themselves, and if just for a day, to understand a little more about what it means to be Dutch.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

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