Trying to find just the right mix of entertainment for an event like RAGBRAI is a daunting task, but one our Entertainment Committee took head-on. Finding acts that both, fit our theme and also deliver chills took some time. This year the committee that included Gary Henry, Nikki Soboski, Rustin Lippincott and Steve Smith reached out all across the country to bring what we think will be the highlight evening of RAGBRAI.
In the world of Steampunk, the name Professor Adam Smasher is known coast to coast. The 2013 Winner of The Starburmer Galactic Courier Award which recognizes those individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the Steampunk community, Professor Adam Smasher is a Gentleman, Musician, Songwriter, and Gizmologist. He travels the country to attend Steampunk events and possesses a thirst for knowledge in all frontiers of Steampunk! Professor Adam Smasher will serve as a Master of Ceremonies for our event, as well as spend the day busking around the square with his steampunk duo The Eternal Frontier.
At the request of The BrassGears Adventurers Society, Iowa’s premier Steampunk organization, The Steampunk Pope, His Radiance, Brother Barnabas Brass-Boilerplate will be joining their group for the RAGBRAI visit to Fairfield. He will be blessing bikes, riders, and posing for photos with his Papal Pavilion. Brother Barnabas Brass-Boilerplate in an award willing Steampunk character. Brother Barnabas Brass-Boilerplate travels throughout the Midwest, from Arizona to Wisconsin to Indiana. He’s a regular at TeslaCon, recently crowning a new regent there and, in June will be launching the new Steampunk Festival at Heavener Runestone Park in Oklahoma. Brother Barnabas Brass-Boilerplate is the leader of The Mystical Order of the Aethernaught Brotherhood, a worldwide organization promoting volunteering, and helping others.
Continuing the steampunk theme will be our first musical act of the day, The Ragged Blade Band from St Louis, who will take you back in time with ragtime, early blues, jazz tunes from the early 1900s! They infuse these songs with modern technology so you can hear a turn of the 20th tune with 21st-century instrumentation. The Ragged Blade Band plays many steampunk events around the Midwest and are very excited to join our party.
One of the great things about hosting RABGRAI is showcasing some of our great local talent, and in Fairfield, the husband and wife duo of Steve and Michaela McClain make up our first family of music. Already known locally for their infectious harmonies, playful lyrics, and love of their hometown, now RAGBRAI riders will get to see this talented couple.
Another jewel in the Fairfield music treasure chest is The 34th Army Band of the Iowa Army National Guard. The 34th army Band has been stationed right here in Fairfield since its creation in 1921 and is made up of citizen soldiers whose members live throughout Iowa, Illinois, Missouri, and Nebraska. The band plays many events each summer around the state and has also traveled across the country. One of the many offshoots of award-winning 34th Army Band is The Sidewinders, the groups pop music ensemble that is in high demand for military and civilian functions alike. The Fairfield RAGBRAI committee is honored to have The Sidewinders return to the RAGBRAI Stage this summer
Turning to the Main Stage, the entertainment committee looked to bring excitement, energy, and fun to the “Glow Party”, and have done just that with two of the best party bands in the country. Minnesota-based Brat Pack Radio has been performing far and wide across the globe, from Midwestern venues & festivals to the Russian coast, private shows all over Europe and 1,001 points in between. They bring a high-energy, non-stop Supershow that can only be described as seriously fun. Brat Pack Radio also includes Ryan Lance, a 4-time Emmy Award-winning songwriter, and Season 8 American Idol Top 15 finalist Jesse Langseth.
The Fairfield RAGBRAI 2019 headliner is the “No Limits Band” from Oregon. Once The No Limits Band takes the stage it’ll become instantly clear why they are one of the premier party bands in the United States today, and why, when the rich and famous are looking for an amazing band to play, it’s the No Limits Band they bring in. There is NO LIMIT to the amount of fun our guests will experience when this high energy band takes the stage. They have performed their magic all over the United States from Florida to California, and have wowed crowds in Cancun; Bahamas; Canada and Cabo San Lucas., and regularly appear at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. The No Limits Band will bring the absolute best dance music to any night on the RABGRAI route.
Adding to the day will also be some unique artist from Cirque Wonderland in Des Moines. Cirque Wonderland is a new company that features ambient living art, which will wander its way through Central park adding stunning visuals and limitless entertainment with a number of performers taking part in our glow party. Cirque Wonderland will bring a variety of glow prop acts including; poi, hoop, contact juggling, and stilt walkers with props.
Looking for a cool souvenir to remember your visit to Fairfield? How about a commemorative caricature? Stephanie Ong has been doing caricatures for over 20 years, regularly working The Iowa State Fair, Adventureland as well as other events throughout the Midwest. Steph can knock out a caricature in about 4 minutes and will be doing free caricatures on commemorative Fairfield RAGBRAI Geared for Weird paper.
Adding to day’s festivities, The Feist Club Burlesque Troupe of Fairfield will be offering two performances adding to our steampunk atmosphere. The Feist Club Burlesque Troupe is a voluntary membership organization that aims to foster and support Fairfield’s community of burlesque dancers, performers, and event producers. Performance of this Fairfield original will be family friendly and a great example of the diverse entertainment opportunities available to the residents of Fairfield.
The 2013 RAGBRAI visit to Fairfield stands a benchmark in many riders head as one of the best RAGBRAI overnight stops in recent history, and It is our hope as a committee, that the entertainment we have selected this year, will again be having riders asking when they can come back.