The Sturgis Motorcycle Rally is taking measures to ensure the safety of this year’s attendees. South Dakota officials plan to send 20 coronavirus testing machines to the rally. The machines reportedly produce results in minutes.
In previous years, around 500,000 people attended the rally. Next month’s 80th edition of the annual rally may not reach quite those numbers. However, officials still expect a large gathering of people.
The city decided to proceed with the 10-day rally after realizing that motorcycle enthusiasts planned on showing up to the rally regardless of the coronavirus pandemic, according to Keoland. The council approved the event with an 8-1 vote last month.
Earlier in July, Randy Peterson of Sturgis.com expressed his approval of the council’s decision. “I’m very pleased with the city council’s decision to join the 2020 rally this year,” Peterson said. “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.”
Sturgis City Manager, Dan Ainslie, spoke with News Center 1 about the rally. He mentions that this year’s rally rides on but looks different than years past. Coronavirus testing isn’t going to be the only change. “There’s not going to be a lot of the public activities that there usually are so including the opening ceremonies,” Ainslie said . “The B1 flyover, different contests and activities and parades and things that we usually do during the Rally we would not be doing that because that really does encourage and if you see any of the photographs there tends to be thousands of people lined on the Main Street. We’re trying to avoid that.”
This year’s Sturgis Motorcycle rally lasts from Aug. 7-16.