The Sturgis motorcycle rally is one of the biggest motorcycle gatherings in the country and this year the show will go on despite the pandemic. The rally started Aug 7th and will go on till the 16th of this month, and takes place in the beautiful city of Sturgis South Dakota. Despite several media outlets calling this event a ‘super spreader” for the COVID-19 virus, bikers all around are not afraid.
Sturgis officials released this statement below before the start of the event:
The Sturgis City Council has announced that a modified 80th Annual City of Sturgis Motorcycle Rally is being prepared. The event will have significant changes to city-sponsored events with the intention of safeguarding the community and residents. Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the City of Sturgis has taken a proactive approach in completing an in-depth process to determine the best path moving forward in an effort to protect the residents, while considering if or how to host the annual event. This process has included monitoring COVID-19 infection rates, and extensive communication with local health care providers. City staff and Council members have participated in more than 100 calls with various federal, state and local agencies, communities, chambers of commerce, businesses, governmental officials, and Meade 46-1 School District. A special town hall meeting was hosted on June 8 to hear comments and concerns from residents, businesses, and Rally enthusiasts. After considering many options, the City Council voted in favor of moving forward with preparations for the large influx of tourists and participants coming to enjoy the Black Hills, with a focus on preserving the safety of our residents. Attendees will be asked to be respectful of the community concerns by practicing social distancing and taking personal responsibility for their health by following CDC guidelines. Enhanced safety and sanitization protocols will be carried out for rally goers, including public hand sanitizing stations throughout the downtown area. In addition to the normal cleaning efforts, nightly sanitization of sidewalk areas will take place in the downtown area. Temporary vendors will be asked to abide by state and federal protocols and guidelines related to COVID-19. PPE will be available for all city staff, and any businesses that have issues with finding available personal protective equipment for their employees.
The City of Sturgis will continue to encourage any and all residents to utilize the Sturgis Good Deeds program for any of their local shopping needs. This program began in March to aid residents with pre-existing conditions, those in the high-risk category, or those with general health concerns with grocery or other essential needs by contactless deliveries free of charge. This service is conducted by City staff and a host of wonderful volunteers.
In a span of 24 hours, CBS News tracked 84 arrests, 226 citations, and 18 crashes. A tough decision for most big events, while some like SEMA are deciding to go the safe route its interesting to see which events in the near future will still go on.
Here’s a LIVE look: