They were inspired to create the theme for RAGBRAI based on the paranormal activity that they experience in their town.

Volunteers in Cresco went all out on the theme “pedal to the paranormal.” Everything from the signs to the food included creepy messages and ghouls. It made the overnight stop a little more special for the 20,000 guests.

“The theme is pedal to the paranormal, and it has to do with the paranormal activity that a lot of our long time residents say is at our Cresco Theater and Opera House,” said Kelli Gosch, of Howard County Business and Tourism.

The theater is a building that has over a century of stories, and is like a walk of history.

“It was originally opened in 1915, they built it in 1914, they stopped using the place around 1966, they got bored of it or whatever,” said Dawson Gosch, a theater employee.

People in Cresco say that sometimes when you walk through the theater, you find pieces of it left behind.

“People see things, there’s a couple of pictures out there, and I’ve heard things,” said Dawson Gosch.

“People believe that some of the ghosts that these ghost hunters described were people that they actually knew,” said Kelli Gosch.

Ghost hunters have visited the theater to verify the paranormal activity. They say they even got a name on tape.

“Delores!” said Dawson Gosch.

These creepy stories led to the creepy Cresco theme, and a memorable RAGBRAI stop.

“If this whole ghost thing wasn’t here, if this wasn’t a thing then a lot of people probably wouldn’t even show up and it’s nice to have all the people come in here and see the place,” said Dawson Gosch.

“I hope that people take away from Cresco that we are fun, we’re welcoming, it’s a really good, close, tight knit community but we love everybody, and Cresco really is a great place to be and a great place to live,” said Kelly Gosch. 

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