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  • Tue July 17 2007
  • Posted Jul 17, 2007
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW FOOD AND BEVERAGES: The beverage garden is downtown on the north courthouse lawn and downtown streets. Riders with wristbands, free; $2, unless wearing a Hampton RAGBRAI T-shirt. The food vendors will be around Bandshell Park and the downtown area. Restaurants and bars also will be open. CAMPGROUNDS: There are two. The main campground is at the high school; the second is at the fairgrounds. OTHER SERVICES: Bike shops and the information center will be at the high school parking lot. Showers are available at the swimming pool. SHUTTLES: There are three routes. The shuttle hub will be at First National Bank’s parking lot. INTERNET ACCESS: At the Iowa Telecom trailer, public libraries in pass-through towns and 10 a.m.-8 p.m at the Hampton library. TOWN TRIVIA RAGBRAI HISTORY: Hampton was an overnight town in 1990. MORE HISTORY: The Franklin County town was incorporated in 1870, the same year the first railroad entered town. It was originally named Benjamin, so it would be read as Benjamin, Franklin County, Iowa, to honor the famous American. It was renamed Hampton in honor of the famous Hampton Roads of Virginia. POPULATION: 4,221 WHAT TO EXPECT Debbie Kalousek, member of the Hampton RAGBRAI committee Q. How did you come up with your theme? A. We had the community suggest possible themes that the publicity committee then discussed. We had some great discussions and from that came "Hot Fun in the Summer Time." Q. What are new things you expect to offer riders this year? A. It has been 17 years since RAGBRAI has been to Hampton, so I guess everything that we do will be new to the riders. We will offer the riders great entertainment, great food and, of course, a welcoming environment with the hope that some of the riders will return to Hampton another time. Q. RAGBRAI stayed overnight in your town in 1990. What was the theme then, and were you involved with the planning then? If so, how does this year's compare? A. I couldn't find that we had an actual theme, but there was a surprise parade at 9 p.m. the night they were here, and it was a "Mardi Gras Fat Tuesday" parade with the "big kahunas" throwing beads to everyone. The "big kahunas" were three large men with no shirts on being carried on the shoulders of some very strong men. There was a "queen/king for a day" competition since Hampton is the home of Jack Bailey, who used to have the TV show "Queen for a Day." Q. What do you want riders and Register readers to know about your town? A. We are a rural community that has a wonderful downtown historic district, specialty shops that attract people from all over, a wonderful park system, amenities that many larger communities don't have, a good school system and, of course, the great people that make up this community. Q. How many folks are involved in the planning from your community? A. There are approximately 150 people on 20 committees planning this event.

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