Waukee officials say they’re all in for making a bacon and biking celebration an annual affair for the community.

The city was the host site last weekend for 2,800 cyclists who participated in the inaugural Bacoon Ride, a collaboration sponsored by RAGBRAI, the Blue Ribbon Bacon Festival and the Iowa Bicycle Coalition. Local support and initiative in Waukee was key to turning Saturday’s 71-mile ride along the Raccoon River Valley Trail into a weekend-long event, according to Mayor Bill Peard, who called it a major success.

“We’ve got to make this thing bigger,” Peard said while mingling with riders and Waukee council members in Perry on Saturday. “I was one of the big pushers for that.”

Centennial Park was converted into a campground for riders, where the party began early Friday evening with live music, a beverage tent and other festive offerings that lasted late into the night.

The scene left an impression on riders.

“That blew everything else away so far,” Bacoon rider and Waukee resident Matt Hackett said more than halfway through the ride Saturday.

A similar scene unfolded in Waukee on Saturday night, with an after party at Mickey’s Irish Pub.

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