Sturgis Motorcycle Rally 2021: Grand Marshal Shows Off Front Page of Local Paper Featuring Pic of Her, Town Mayor

by Matthew Memrick

Sturgis Motorcycle Rally grand marshal Jody Perewitz showed off her and town mayor Mark Carstensen a local newspaper front page spread.

Wearing sunglasses, Perewitz proudly showed off her front-page spread from the Black Hills Pioneer newspaper on Instagram. 

The Aug. 7 ride, in its 19th year, raised money for local emergency services.

The Black Hills ride had a stop at Mount Rushmore, along with a group photo. From there, the group went to Custer State Park and finished at State Game Lodge. There, Carstensen, who has served as Mayor of Sturgis since 2011, made a presentation.

The rally started on Aug. 6 and continues through Aug. 15. 

Later in the evening, Carstensen played during the Mayor’s Annual Charity Poker Tournament in Deadwood in another official Instagram account post.

Crime down at Sturgis

On Thursday, reported that crime was down at this year’s rally. While the number of warning tickets rose (2,413), the outlet said DUI arrests (-4), misdemeanor drug possession charges (-63), and felony drug possession charges (-16) are down. 

Conversely, a South Dakota Department of Transportation count on Wednesday had 57,675 vehicles at the Sturgis Rally, bringing up the year’s total to 371,038. That is a 17.2% hike from this time last year.

Noem Responds to Sturgis Rally Criticisms

On Thursday, South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem fired back at President Joe Biden’s chief medical advisor.

Noem said Dr. Anthony Fauci unfairly singled out the rally when other events like concerts, like last week’s Lollapalooza, are active throughout the country. 

“Dr. Fauci has become political,” Noem said to Fox News on Thursday. “And I think it’s unfortunate because there’s going to be a point in time again when we’re really going to need our public health officials and know we can trust them. And he has discredited his entire profession by the positions he has taken during this pandemic.”

Earlier this week, Fauci said the Black Hills risked a COVID-19 surge at Sturgis. Estimates are that 700,000 people attend the event.

“It’s understandable that people want to do the kinds of things they want to do,” Fauci told NBC News on Sunday. “They want their freedom to do that. But there comes a time when you’re dealing with a public health crisis that could involve you, your family, and everyone else, that something supersedes that need to do exactly what you want to do.”

Lollapalooza vs. Sturgis

In an ABC7 report on Tuesday, Chicago public health officials said an estimated 385,000 people were there throughout the four-day Lollapalooza festival. Of those, only 203 attendees have tested positive for COVID-19, or about 0.05% of people who attended. 

Also, Lollapalooza officials required attendees to show proof of vaccination or show a negative COVID-19 test and wear a mask.

But, according to USA Today, health precautions at Sturgis are optional. Plus, there were no testing or vaccine requirements to attend the S.D. event.