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Waverly Paints the Town for RAGBRAI
Updated: Friday, July 25 2014, 08:00 AM CDT
WAVERLY, IA (CBS2/FOX28) - For just one night, on Wednesday, the city of Waverly tripled its population thanks to Ragbrai. For riders, entering the city was certainly one of the very brightest spots on the trip, because of a new landmark.
Wartburg College offered up a barn and the Waverly Ragbrai Committee paid for some paint, and soon artist, TJ Warren,who works for Wartburg college, sketched up a design. The result is a vibrant building that greets visitors on their way into town on 12th Street NW. The mural depicts a rider starting his on the road in the morning and finishing it at sunset in Waverly.
“This barn has been such an amazing gift to the community,” Emily Neuendorf with the Waverly Chamber of Commerce said.
Ragbrai rider, Brad Walstrom, said it intrigued him to see more of the city.
“You know, it made me curious,” Walstrom said.
Plus, when riders see more, they have more opportunities to spend in the city.
“Here in Waverly and our surrounding county, we expect $3 million of economic impact for today alone,” Neuendorf said.
Yet, long after the influx of riders and dollars is gone, the impact of the mural will remain.
“It’s just that community feeling that I see from all of this,” Warren said.
Warren said volunteers made completing his work easy.
“They just showed up, and at first we had maybe a brush or two and then, suddenly, we had more gallons of paint and more brushes,” Warren told CBS2/FOX28.
Mark Olson stepped in. He’s a missionary that is new to the community. He said participating helped him belong and embrace Ragbrai.
“I feel tickled pink honestly,” Olson said.
“Everybody worked on it and together. You got this beautiful image, and that’s what community is all about,” Warren added.
It’s just a little extra vibrancy and character, for a city that clearly knows a little something about painting the town. The mural will stay up in Waverly for at least a year following Ragbrai.