Raccoon River Rally

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Are You Ready to RALLY?

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Playing at the 2022 Raccoon River Rally:

The Nadas – Iowa’s signature alt-rock-country band, selling more than 200,000 albums through their own label, Authentic Records. Singers/guitarists Mike Butterworth and Jason Walsmith, bassist Brian Duffey, and drummer Brandon Stone mix country, rock, alternative, and indie with flawless songwriting and catchy melodies for a crowd-pleasing experience.

Stranger Than Fiction – Central Iowa’s folk-rock band that plays a broad range of Americana roots classics and contemporary rock. From The Rolling Stones and Tom Petty to The Decemberists and The Lumineers, their music brings generations together at wineries, weddings, and the local favorite watering hole.

A full selection of beers will be available on hand for purchase for those 21 and older. Please bring a valid form of ID. Do not drink and drive. Non-alcoholic beverages will also be available for purchase. 



All patrons, volunteers, and employees are expected to comply fully with all laws (including laws prohibiting the operation of motor vehicles while under the influence of alcohol), and to take safety precautions including arranging for a designated, sober driver. By attending Racoon River Rally, I agree that any alcoholic beverages I consume are my own choice and responsibility. I agree to drink responsibility. I acknowledge that I alone am responsible for all of my actions resulting from consuming alcohol and the West Des Moines Chamber and City of West Des Moines is in no way responsible.

Start your Rally with a ride at 11:00AM! Explore West Des Moines on a scenic bicycle ride around Blue Heron Lake or along the Jordan Creek Trail. The crushed limestone trail loop around Blue Heron Lake is approximately 3.2 miles, perfect for families to enjoy. The Jordan Creek Trail route takes riders out on a longer ride to Valley View Aquatic Center. The out and back route is just over 15 miles round trip.


Participants must complete a waiver prior to riding. Helmets are required to be worn by all riders. By participating, riders understand that they will be responsible for following all traffic and safety rules of the road on their own and that there is no pick-up or support service outside of the planned rest stop.

Cardboard boat races are time honored traditions from across the globe. Yes, it might be a little chilly on October 8, but we are excited to bring this event to West Des Moines and hope that this becomes a tradition and a great way for families, teams, friends and the community to have a blast!  Building a boat is fun, but it does take some creativity, ingenuity, imagination and collaboration. Cardboard materials can be found at your local grocery store, appliance, furniture, hardware or big ‘box’ seller. The more outlandish the boat, the better! Come up with a theme, outrageous costumes are encouraged, and let’s see who is willing to brave the cold and show us what you got.


Awards include:

FASTEST BOAT: First boat to cross the finish line – if we have several entries, we will have several races (heats).

MOST CREATIVE: Awarded by judges based on creativity, showmanship, and team spirit – costumes & props are encouraged!

BEST CORPORATE BOAT: Show your company spirit and let’s see who shines the best!

WEST DES MOINES SPIRIT AWARD: What is the best way to show off how much you love WDM?

TEAM SPIRIT AWARD: What is the team you like best? Maybe it’s the Cubs, Valley Tigers, or your alma matter?

THE TITANIC AWARD: Who’s boat is the most spectacular at sinking!

2022 Boat Race Judges

  • Tom Hadden – City Manager / City of West Des Moines
  • Renee Hardman – West Des Moines City Councilwoman and Chief Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Officer & VP of Human Resources / Broadlawns Medical Center
  • Matt McCoy – Polk County Supervisor
  • Chris Nelson – Building Team Leader / Shive Hattery
  • Therese Wielage – Chief Marketing & Communications Officer / Merchants Bonding Company
  • Trevor Stratton – Director of Human Resources / Superstorm Restoration

Photo from the 2021 Raccoon River Rally where the judges enjoyed a photo opportunity and presented a $4,200 check that helps to support the Athene Pedestrian Bridge at Raccoon River Park

Stilwell Junior High students built and raced in the 2021 Raccoon River Rally cardboard boat race. Check out the creativity and fun students and staff experienced by participating in this community event by viewing the video below.

Enjoy fun for the whole family! Miniature golf, yard games, temporary tattoos, and much more will be available for attendees of all ages. Thank you to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Iowa for providing a variety of games for the fun zone!

Support the Raccoon River Rally as a volunteer! Sign up by clicking here. All volunteers receive a t-shirt and food/beverage vouchers at the Rally!

Email with any questions.

11:00AM: Bike Ride Launch, Food Trucks & Beverage Tent Opens, Fun Zone & Business Expo Open, Stranger Than Fiction Takes the Aureon Main Stage

1:00PM: Cardboard Boat Races on Blue Heron Lake

2:00PM: Awards Ceremony on the Aureon Main Stage

3:00PM: The Nadas take the Aureon Main Stage

4:00PM: Rally Announcements on the Aureon Main Stage

4:30PM: The Nadas take the Aureon Main Stage

6:00PM: 2022 Raccoon River Rally Ends

Event Sponsors

Presenting Sponsor

Main Stage Sponsor

Silver Sponsors

Bronze Sponsors

Media Partner

Event Organizers

A portion of sponsorship proceeds benefit

The West Des Moines Chamber of Commerce reserves the right to use any photograph or video taken at any event hosted by the WDM Chamber without the expressed written permission of those included within the photograph or video. The West Des Moines Chamber of Commerce may use the photograph or video in publications or other media material produced, used, or contracted by the West Des Moines Chamber of Commerce, including but not limited to websites, social media, e-communications, brochures, invitations, posters, flyers, books, newspapers, magazines, television, etc.

Raccoon River Rally
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