Britt and its residents are no strangers to rolling out the red carpet and showing travelers that nothing compares to small town hospitality. We’ve been doing it for decades. This year however, I think we can all agree we’ve taken it to a whole new level. For the last several months a group of community volunteers pulled together to organize an event and host thousands of bicyclists as RAGBRAI rolled through our community last week, and it was clear they did an absolutely amazing job! Five o’clock in the morning and Main Street was packed with people and bustling with activity – and that was just our residents and local businesses setting up their booths, cooking food, and making sure everything was ready for the day. Riders began coming through town shortly after, and it wasn’t long before it was difficult to cross the street. I spent the majority of the day working in the Hobo Museum and was thrilled to hear numerous wonderful comments about our “beautiful little town” and the “incredibly welcoming and friendly people” that live here. A few riders even made the effort to track down the mayor to make sure and thank our community for being “one of the best stops on RAGBRAI… EVER!” I’m extremely proud of Britt and the wonderful people that came together to make it happen! We’ve received some outstanding publicity, but more importantly, we were able to share our community’s spirit and unique culture with tens of thousands of people.
And if that wasn’t enough for one day, another great group of folks kicked off the start of the always exciting Hancock County District Fair that same afternoon! Livestock, 4-H projects, free entertainment, funnel cakes and a Night of Destruction – it doesn’t get much better than that! Every year the Hancock County Ag Society works to host one of the best fairs in the state, and 2017 didn’t disappoint. Rain early in the week wasn’t going to keep fair goers away and the grounds were full of families taking in the festivities, enjoying the carnival and grabbing some watermelon and sweetcorn.
It’s definitely been a busy and exciting week for Britt, and the next few won’t be slowing down either. The 117th Annual Hobo Convention will kick off with the official fire lighting on Thursday, August 10th and once again the community will be ready to welcome thousands of travelers to town to share a truly unique part of American history with the world. And shortly after, over 100 tons of horse power will make their way to the fairgrounds as 18 draft horse hitches come to Britt over Labor Day weekend for what has become one of the largest draft horse hitch shows in North America.
We are blessed that Britt is the home of some remarkably special celebrations that have garnered worldwide attention to our quiet little town, but I think what we should be most proud of are the people who call Britt home. I’m constantly amazed at what our community accomplishes when we come together. Amazed… but never surprised. I’ve seen it time and time again. Cheers and many thanks to the RAGBRAI Committee, the Britt Hobo Days Association, the Hancock County Ag Society, the Britt Draft Horse Association, and to each and every one of the volunteers that dedicate countless hours to these events – YOU are what makes Britt so special.