Sturgis Motorcycle Rally 2021: Mayor Says Rally’s Opening Ceremony Was Largest Ever

by Clayton Edwards

Events in 2021 have drawn some of the biggest and most excited crowds in decades. After all, most people have been waiting for over a year to get out and do things again. Even those who didn’t have previous plans are now taking advantage of an opportunity that they once took for granted. Motorcycle enthusiasts are no exception to this. The 81st annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally kicked off on August 6. The rally’s opening ceremony was the largest in history, according to the town’s mayor.

 The Sturgis Motorcycle Rally has kicked off in much the same way since 2015. Everything starts at Rally Point, on the corner of Main Street and Harley Davidson Way. The mayor of Sturgis takes the stage and welcomes attendees while a parade makes its way down the street. The same thing happened this year.

Sturgis Mayor Mark Carstensen looked out over the crowd assembled for the motorcycle rally and couldn’t help but notice its sheer size. Thousands of riders had already gathered for the rally and it hadn’t even truly started yet. He proclaimed that this year’s crowd was the biggest in history, according to the Rapid City Journal.

Daniel Ainslie, Sturgis’ city manager, also commented on the size of the motorcycle rally’s opening day. He agreed with Mayor Carstensen, saying, “For an opening day, we’ve never seen this many people. The crowds are incredibly happy.” He went on to say that people came from all around to the event. “We actually have folks who are international visitors and they are so excited to see a slice of Americana, to see people smiling, to see some freedom out here.” He added, “It’s a beautiful thing.”

The Sturgis Motorcycle Rally Is a Beautiful Thing for South Dakota

The Sturgis Motorcycle Rally is a beautiful thing for the city as well as the surrounding areas. Ainslie said that people spend over $500 million in the first few days of the rally on average. The impact of that spending can be felt through the entire state of South Dakota.

At the same time, the Sturgis city manager said that the motorcycle rally creates citizens. Hundreds of thousands of people flock to the little town in the Black Hills every year. The scenery is breathtaking. From all accounts, the people are friendly. All in all, it is a welcoming place. So, many people go there for the first time, fall in love with the area, and move there. Some move to Sturgis and others relocate to the surrounding areas.

“They end up moving here, become a part of our workforce, become a part of our economy,” Ainslie said. He went on to say that the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally is a “Huge way to actually introduce people to the great state of South Dakota.”