In less than a month, thousands and thousands of cyclists will gather in Sioux City, the starting point of the week-long RAGBRAI bicycle ride. As visitors happen upon Siouxland landmarks like the Floyd Monument, Historic Fourth Street and the many outdoor sculptures, they may also come across collections of colorfully painted bicycles made by (who else?) you.
To celebrate RAGBRAI, the Sioux City Art Center will host "Paint Like It's 1973," an event where anyone from the community can spray paint old, rusty bikes to be shared with businesses and organizations in Sioux City.
Art Center Development Coordinator Erin Webber-Dreeszen said she is looking forward to the event in cooperation with the RAGBRAI committee.
"We're giving people an outlet so that they can do something artistic," she said. "We have this reputation here in Sioux City and the surrounding areas as being very welcoming and having a lot of pride in our community."
Webber-Dreeszen said the RAGBRAI committee donated more than 100 bikes for patrons to decorate during "Paint Like It's 1973." The event's name is a nod to RAGBRAI's first bike ride, which began in Sioux City and finished in Davenport.
The Art Center will provide the spray paint and the bikes -- people just need to come prepared with a bit of an imagination and some old clothes for this outdoor event.
"It's going to be a lot of fun for families to come down, put your painting clothes on, spray paint a bike and see it go out to a business or organization that wants to show their Siouxland pride," said Webber-Dreeszen.
Those business owners are encouraged to contact the Art Center to pick up a bike or arrange to have one delivered to their establishment.
"We just want to make sure that those bikes are out," said Webber-Dreeszen. "It's really a welcoming site for all the riders coming in."
Webber-Dreeszen added that it was important for the Art Center to have a RAGBRAI-themed event that wasn't necessarily "related to getting people through the door."
"Obviously we still want that [to happen] the weekend when we'll have plenty of riders here," said Webber-Dreeszen. "To host something that has a lot of community pride I think is really important to participate in that way."