Over 1,500 bike riders are expected to stay overnight in Vermillion on Saturday, June 9 and Sunday, June 10. Base camp for the bikers will be at the Clay County Fairgrounds, with activities, events, vendors and local promotions being planned to ensure visitors enjoy a wonderful experience while in Vermillion.
The ride across South Dakota will continue from Vermillion, with riders departing from here early on Monday, June 11.
The tour will eventually end June 16 at Lake Kampeska near Watertown. Evening stops of the tour as it heads north from Vermillion includes Lennox June 11, Dell Rapids June 12, Madison June 13, DeSmet June 14, and Watertown on June 15.
Several local committees are already working on the event and more participation from local citizens is encouraged.
There are a number of ways to become involved in the Tour de Kota planning.
- Join a committee. The Vermillion Chamber of Commerce and Development Company has formed three local committees to help support this event: 1. Ambassadors/liaison committee (answer questions, provide directions, shuttle bus and tour guides, distribute gift bags, etc.). 2. Sponsorship/marketing committee (advertising, coupon books, special promotions, gift bag sponsors, event sponsors, etc.). 3. Entertainment/activities committee (solicit and coordinate wrap-around community activities and things for the riders to do; assist with park activities.) People interested in serving on any of these committees are urged to contact the VCDC at 624-5571.
- Be a sponsor. There are opportunities for businesses to advertise by offering a special promotion, coupon or other item for gift bags. Financial sponsors are also needed for many of the events and activities being planned. Call 624-5571 for more information.
- Do a wrap-around event. Several events are being planned for the riders on Sunday, June 10 at Barstow Park. In addition to these activities, businesses, organizations and other groups are welcome to plan wrap-around events throughout the community to offer riders a variety of things to do while in Vermillion. The VCDC and the Argus Leader will help to promote and advertise these events. Call 624-5571.
- Be a vendor/have a booth. Vendors are needed to offer food, souvenirs and other products, with booths set up in Barstow Park on Sunday, June 10. If interested, contact the VCDC at 624-5571.
- Welcome riders/do an in-house promotion. Vermillion citizens are encouraged to put "Welcome Tour de Kota" signs in their windows, yards, etc. throughout the community. All Tour de Kota riders/participants will have wristbands, and local businesses are encouraged to offer them in-house specials and promotions during the weekend they will be in Vermillion.
The 4-H grounds and Lion's Park will be the base camps for riders and registration in Vermillion.
Parking will be available at the Vermillion Middle School and side streets, Pamida and Hy-Vee.
Shower facilities will be available at the Heart & Soul Fitness Center, the National Guard Armory and the middle school.
Riders will be able to fill water bottles at the armory and Lion's Park.
In case of severe weather, shelter for the riders will be available at the armory.
Some riders and guests will prefer motel stays vs. camping, and information will be provided to them about area accommodations.
Some communities are advertising alternative camp sites that are available for a minimal fee. This is a possibility for people in Vermillion as well.
A variety of entertainment and activities is being planned for the Tour de Kota participants. There will be a live band at Barstow Park from 7 to 10 p.m., and food vendors in the park both Sunday and Monday.
Barstow Park will also host the Eagles' beer stand and massage therapists on Sunday.
A shuttle bus will be available to riders for community tours and other transportation needs 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday. Tour de Kota participants will be offered free swimming in Vermillion's municipal pool from noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. Frisbee golf and minnow races are also being considered.
There will also be tours of the W.H. Over Museum, the National Music Museum and the Austin-Whittemore House. Riders will also be encouraged to hike up Spirit Mound.
Riders also won't leave Vermillion hungry or thirsty.
The following food and beverage stands will be available at the camping site:
- A Lions pancake feed, Sunday, June 10, 6 to 11 a.m., and Monday, June 11, 5 to 11 a.m.
- A Lions food stand, Sunday, June 10, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
- An Eagles food stand, Sunday, June 10, noon to 6 p.m.
- An Eagles beer garden, Sunday, June 10, 2 to 10 p.m.
Other clubs, businesses or organizations interested in being a vendor for food, drink or other items are encouraged to contact the VCDC at 624-5571.