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      Ottumwa offers advice to Fairfield as RAGBRAI approaches

      In just over two weeks, around 20,000 bikers will be streaming into Fairfield for RAGBRAI. A few years ago, Ottumwa played host to the annual event.

      The Bridge View Center and Ottumwa's parks were the epicenters of the overnight stay in 2009, which organizers said took about nine months to a year of planning to prepare for. Pam Kaupins was the committee chair for Ottumwa's RAGBRAI, and she says the best part about being involved with the event is two-fold.

      First, it's a great opportunity to show off the best your community has to offer; to those who have been to your town before and those who have not.

      "The other thing is the whole community working together," Kaupins said. "That's what it takes to make a very successful RAGBRAI in your community is everybody working together, getting the community involved."

      Kaupins' advice for Fairfield is to enjoy the day when the bikers come and watch all your hard work pay off.

      She added that an extra benefit is the economic impact that having thousand of visitors in your town can make in one day.