Lodi needs a big crowd for the Tour of California.

It’s been said the Amgen Tour of California is the biggest thing to come to Lodi — EVER.

Judging by the difficulty of the course, the quality of racers in past pelotons, the amount of TV coverage planned and the number of people who might show up, the Tour of California is becoming a bigger deal every year.

It’s no Tour de France.

It’s no Super Bowl.

Not yet.

The Super Bowl doesn’t ask for volunteers. Its britches are too big for that.

But the Tour of California is a pro race that depends on amateurs. The Lodi Local Organizing Committee needs volunteers, donations and — most of all — a crowd.

It’s a rare chance to get up close and personal with an elite sports event.

And it will help make the big bang on television and give our tourist industry a pop.

So why not plan to take the afternoon off Monday, May 11 and be there when the Tour of California comes to Lodi. Get the kids to go — the racers arrive after school’s out. Sign up for crowd control or to pour wine or to hand out posters.

It will be a hoot.

Lodians who volunteered at the Squaw Valley Winter Olympics back in 1960 are still talking about it.

What have you got to tell your grandkids?

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