Thank you for expressing interest in being a food vendor for RAGBRAI®. This letter is designed to answer some of your questions and assist you in filling out the application. We are very excited about RAGBRAI coming to Keokuk on Saturday, July 27, 2019. We expect to welcome between 15,000-20,000 riders and support staff and we intend to feed them! This is not a small job and we need the help of many non-profit organizations and businesses.

FEES: There will be a $100 fee for non-profit and $250 fee for for-profit entities that want to be food vendors. This fee should be paid before any organization is permitted to be a RAGBRAI food vendor. As part of this fee, vendors will receive advertising in an information packet handed out to the riders (in the previous overnight town). Applications, proof of liability insurance, and checks must be received no later than June 15. Checks can be made payable to Keokuk RAGBRAI.

ACCEPTANCE: The food vendor committee reserves the right to deny any application based on need, space availability, or vendor intent.

LOCATIONS: The majority of food vending will be set up at Victory Park. A handful of vendors will be set up in a set location near Headquarters. You will be assigned space approximately 10’x15’, enough room to accommodate a 10’x10’ tent and for necessary equipment you may be using. More than one space may be purchased; please indicate any additional space needs you may have. The food vending committee will provide a map of your location before July 26.

PRICING: It will be up to each group to set its own prices. The committee will be happy to assist you in making recommendations on prices. RAGBRAI officials recommend that a lower price be charged to RAGBRAI participants with a wristband. All registered RAGBRAI participants will have a wristband. Please list your prices on the application.

FOOD SAFETY: Food safety is very important when you feed this many people. Contingent on your approval as a vendor, a Temporary Food Service Establishment License Application will need to be completed and sent to the Lee County Health Department, along with the required $50 fee no later than May 24.  The application and all requirements must be met before LCHD approves your food service. It is attached to this document and can also be found at Please read all necessary information provided on the site. LCHD will inspect all food vendors prior to 10:00 am on Saturday, July 27.

INSURANCE: All vendors are required to show proof of liability insurance.

HOURS: All food vendors must be set up by 8:00 am so we ask that you allow enough time to set up. This will allow ample time for inspections and for you to be ready to take care of early participants. You should plan on being open until 4:00 pm and will not be allowed to break down prior to that time.

ELECTRICITY: Please complete the Electrical Power Usage form and include with your application submission. There will be a $25 additional charge for basic 110 voltage.

ICE & HANDWASHING STATIONS: The food vendor committee will provide ice and handwashing stations on the day of the event.

GOING GREEN: All vendors will be encouraged to serve their food on eco-friendly biodegradable products. These products include plates, wrappers, cups, straws, flatware. We will work with the Sanitation & Recycling Committee to recycle cans and plastics, so please plan to participate accordingly to eliminate waste.

CLEAN UP: We ask that all food vendors clean up their areas before leaving. Trash cans will be provided to help. You will not be allowed to break down your booth and clean your area until after 4:00pm on Saturday, July 27.

SIGNAGE: Food vendors are responsible for their own signs at their booths. The committee recommends printing neat, easy to read signs that include menu items and prices. Vendors are not permitted to use the name RAGBRAI on signs; you will receive an official RAGBRAI vendor sign prior to serving. The committee also recommends that each vendor has a sign to put up if or when it runs out of food.

WORK LOGS: Logs must be kept of all workers in temporary food stands, voluntary or not, for at least 30 days after the event, in the case that follow-up of a foodborne illness outbreak is necessary.

ADDRESS: All applications should be mailed to 428 Main St, Keokuk, Iowa 52632, Attn: RAGBRAI Vendor Committee. Email address is The $100 and $250 (and applicable electrical usage fees) can be paid via check and made out to Keokuk RAGBRAI. The Temporary Food Service Establishment License Application and fee should be sent to Lee County Health Department at PO Box 1426, Fort Madison, Iowa 52627. Questions regarding the temporary license can be directed to the LCHD Environmental Staff at 319-372-5225.

The food vendor committee recommends that every organization take enough time to plan for this event. Groups that plan well and have something creative will do very well. RAGBRAI officials have told us that most participants plan where they are going to eat the night before they arrive in the next town, so advertising in the handout will be very beneficial.

The committee recommends that each group projects how much it plans to serve very carefully. We recommend you plan to sell all of the food you prepare. We want this to be a winning situation for the whole community.

There are a number of food suppliers in town who would want to assist you with all of your needs. Please consider purchasing your supplies locally.

PRE-MEETING: Once you have been approved as a vendor, you will be contacted regarding a pre-event meeting to be held July 16th at 4pm. This meeting will cover parking, set up, and other operational information. It is very important for you to attend. More details will be given when the time approaches.

-Temporary Food License
-Electrical Form                                    
-Sales Tax Permit (not required for non-profit, civil, or fraternal organizations)
-Proof of Insurance