Fans gather with their bikes around the many vendors and other riders before the annual RAGBRAI ride on July 20, 2013.

Editor's note: RAGBRAI 2019 will begin in Council Bluffs. The annual event will be held July 21-28. For more information, check out our digital-only Daily Nonpareil RAGBRAI 2019 special section

Things will kick off on Saturday, July 20 with the RAGBRAI Expo taking place in the northeast Mid-America Center parking lot, just south of 23rd Avenue. The expo will feature live music and a beer garden along with more than 80 cycling related vendors.

The expo will include two stages, a main stage and a second stage set up in the event’s beer garden. Twisted Whiskey will perform from 2 to 4 p.m. in the beer garden followed by Touch of Grey from 4 to 6 p.m. As previously announced, Polka Police and Taxi Driver will perform on the main stage from 7 to 8 p.m. and 8 to 10 p.m. respectively.

Twisted Whiskey is a local band, member Christy Owens is a Thomas Jefferson High School alumna. She and fellow band member Jimmy Little make up a duo, playing country and rock. Touch of Grey will change the beat with their setlist of mostly Grateful Dead covers.

On the main stage, Polka Police — consisting of brothers Jason and Jamie Burmeister — will kick things off with their “eclectic mix of high energy rock and roll.” Taxi Driver will close out the party with their six-piece band, covering current and classic hits.

“RAGBRAI is such a mainstay and tradition in Iowa; Taxi Driver is honored to have the opportunity to be a part of it,” the band said in a statement. “We want to thank the committee and great folks of Iowa for inviting us to participate in the big kick off!”

Throughout the day, riders and visitors will also be able to take shuttles from the expo to Council Bluffs’ 100 Block to check out some of our best restaurants and pubs in town. Ride a mechanical bull at Rodeo Saloon, stop in for a drink and appetizers at Barley’s or Glory Days, and enjoy a cocktail and dessert at Caddy’s Kitchen and Cocktails or Lincoln’s Pub — and that’s just the half of it with many more bars and businesses to explore.

The RAGBRAI Expo will feature more than 80 exhibitors of cycling related products and services. The event is free and open to the public.

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