The following are typical pre-ride "stations" (activity areas) during the gathering phase of Chicago's events.

Check-In. Gate. Support.

Donations and concessions table.
Roaming donations and concessions.

Body painters.
Body painting DIY.

Drum Circles.
Music Trailers.

Bike decorating.
Coolest bike contest.

Roaming photographer(s).
Stationary photographe(s)r.

Autographable event banner.
Bike related art.

Performance: joust, extreme, tall, dance, ...
Play: chalk, hoops, poi, frisbee, ...

Water. Snacks.