RAGBRAI Town Spotlight: Parkersburg (Wednesday)

parkersburg ragbraiParkersburg, Iowa is our next RAGBRAI Town Spotlight.  Parkersburg is proud to be the meeting town on the ride from Eldora to Cedar Falls on Wednesday.

In 2008, one of the worst tornadoes in US history hit Parkersburg.  The EF-5 tornado hit the south side of town causing complete devastation to homes and trees.  As you ride south on the way out of town, note the difference between the trees in the downtown area and the neighborhoods to the south.  It looks like a brand new housing development, and it is, but only because the tornado knocked down homes and trees in that area.  Thanks to the support of all of Iowa, Parkersburg has been able to recover from the devastation.

Aplington-Parkersburg High School has produced its share of NFL players including Casey Wiegmann, Brad Meester, Aaron Kampman, and Jared DeVries.  The story of these players and their coach Ed Thomas can be found in the book ‘The Sacred Acre’, also the nickname of Ed Thomas Field.  Coach Thomas was tragically killed by one of his former students, and his legacy lives on today.

If you are hungry, downtown Parkersburg and historic Main Street will host the food and beverage areas.

While you are biking around town, check out the Aplington-Parkersburg High School rebuilt after the tornado, it’s a really great facility and one of the positive results to come of the tornado’s destruction.

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