Call it a monument, a sprinkler or just a marvel. Whatever it is, the local RAGBRAI stop now has a focal point - a 7.5-foot, 300-pound steel cup with the local logo and theme.
The red cup was the idea of LeRoy Morford, but it took a community effort to produce.
Ryerson Iowa Market donated the steel, Central Iowa Machine rolled and welded the steel, Morford painted it and Sign Creations put on the lettering and logo.
T-R PHOTO BY ANDREW POTTER
A giant steel cup will be the focal point downtown during the July 25 RAGBRAI stop. Pictured with the cup are local volunteers of the project, from left, Kevin Vaughn, John Winters Jr., Ginger McCready, LeRoy Morford, Shannon Espenscheid and Julie Mann. The cup will also spray water to cool off the riders.
It epitomizes Marshalltown's theme of "Proceed to Party" with a nod to the country song "Red Solo Cup" by Toby Keith.
"You would not believe the number of hours and time involved in this project," Morford said. "It's a big community effort."
The cup will be placed on the road in front of Great Western Bank at the corner of Main Street and First Avenue for the July 25 event as more than 20,000 riders arrive in town. Aside from being a good place to take a photo, the cup will also serve a purpose.
Morford plans to install an oscillating sprinkler on top of the structure that will spray water on riders to help them cool off.
Shannon Espenscheid, director of the Marshalltown Convention and Visitors Bureau, got her first look at the cup Tuesday and loved it. She expects it to be a hit with the riders who visit town.
"I think they are going to think it's awesome," Espenscheid said. "They are going to stop and take pictures, and they are going to cool off."
Morford also produced large wooden signs with the red Solo cup and the local logo that will be placed along the route. He said the steel cup turned out better than he originally expected.
"I'm very happy with it," he said.
Overall, Espenscheid said RAGBRAI plans have been going well. Soon, they will go from the planning stage to the execution stage.
"Now, it's just a matter of setting up," she said.
Espenscheid said they are expecting the bulk of the riders to arrive in town from Webster City between 2 and 6 p.m. Wednesday.