Annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally Will Happen (With Some Changes)

The 80th annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally will not succumb to the coronavirus and will be held at its scheduled time.

Annaliese Wiederspahn

June 17, 20202 min read

Sturgis rally photo scaled

The show must go on. And in Sturgis, South Dakota, that means the 80th annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally will not succumb to the coronavirus and will be held on its regularly scheduled dates.

That’s not only good economic news for South Dakota but for Wyoming as well as towns in the northeast corner of the Cowboy State have their own celebrations tied to the annual rally.

Like many events that have not been canceled due to the pandemic, things will be a bit different this year in Sturgis — at least in the city limits.

The City of Sturgis, while agreeing to be part of the annual celebration, announced some changes to this year’s event.

“The City sponsored celebratory events including opening ceremonies, parades, B1 Flyover, and entertainment and live music at Harley-Davidson Rally Point have been canceled,” the city said in a news release. “Photo towers will not be installed.  These changes are designed to reduce the large crowd gatherings in the downtown core.  We look forward to offering events again in 2021.”

Randy Peterson, the owner of the original website dedicated to promoting the Sturgis Rally, said he was pleased with Monday’s city council’s vote to be a part of the rally. He said with or without the city’s OK, it would have happened anyway.

“You can’t cancel what you don’t own,” he said last week. ”You can choose to participate or choose not to participate, but the Sturgis Rally will still go on regardless of what the City of Sturgis chooses.”

“A sampling of more than 50 local businesses and campgrounds had already stated they would be open for business, but with the City’s involvement, necessary municipal services will be provided within city limits,” he said.

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Annaliese Wiederspahn

State Political Reporter