For almost 20 years, the Mayor of Sturgis, South Dakota, has led motorcyclists at the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally on a ride through the Black Hills, featuring a pit stop at the great Mount Rushmore.
This year is no different. Mayor Mark Carstensen and Grand Marshall Jody Perewitz kicked off the ride at 9 a.m. on Saturday. Bikers traveled to Mount Rushmore before eventually heading on to Custer State Park. The ride ended at the State Game Lounge for a lunch and presentation by Mayor Carstensen. All of the proceeds from the ride were donated to the local emergency services in Sturgis.
According to the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally website, the Mayor’s Ride is more than just a casual cruise through the countryside. “This ride has been a special part of the event, not only for the amazing beauty of the Black Hills but that it brings people together from all over the word….and brings them back year after year!” the website says.
Riders certainly seemed to be enjoying themselves based on the slideshow of photos posted by the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. The photos feature different motorcyclists on their bikes, some passing bison, and a great group photo in front of Mount Rushmore. There’s even a couple of a Captain America look-a-like, driving an old-fashioned bike that seems straight out of the 1940s. Check them out for yourself below!
Mayor Mark Carstensen Says 2021 Biggest Opening Day Ever at Sturgis Motorcycle Rally
The Sturgis Motorcycle Rally kicked off on Friday, August 6 with a noon opening ceremony. At the event, Mayor Mark Carstensen gave a speech to the thousands of visitors already pouring into the city. Afterward, he said it was the rally’s biggest opening day ever, according to “Rapid City Journal.”
Sturgis City Manager Daniel Ainslie agreed. “For an opening day, we’ve never seen this many people,” he said. “The crowds are incredibly happy. People from all around, 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. It’s a wonderful thing.”
The event has continued to draw crowds year after year, even at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic last year. But the 365,000 attendees in 2020 are nothing compared to the 700,000 expected at this year’s event.
The 81st staging of the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally will conclude next Sunday, August 15. Until then, participants can enjoy more motorcycle rides, as well as other events and activities. The Legendary Sturgis 5k took place earlier today, while Tuesday is the Tattoo Contest and Military Appreciation Day.
Riders should also be sure to catch some concerts in the next few days, especially ZZ Top, performing on Wednesday.