Sturgis Motorcycle Rally 2021 Kicks Off Today: Here’s What’s on the Schedule for Day One

by Thad Mitchell

The country’s largest gathering of motorcycle enthusiasts returns to Sturgis, South Dakota today with the annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally.

It will be the 81st edition of the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally will draw thousands of bikers from across the United States. The motorcycle host city thinks this year’s event could be one of its biggest-ever due to a few modifications. For one, Sturgis attendees will now be able to have a beer outdoors thanks to a new city ordinance. City officials believe this year’s rally could bring in around 700,000 attendees. If you plan on attending this year’s event, we suggest getting there as soon as possible and preparing to battle for parking spaces.

The Sturgis Motorcycle Rally will blast off today (Friday) with the event’s opening ceremonies. The 10-day rally will continue through Sunday, August 15. A big reason for the expectation of a larger than usual crowd is the great list of activities the rally has put together this year. The event features something for everyone, including plenty of live music, cold drinks and new friends. The annual rally always gets started with an opening ceremonies parade. The Sturgis parade will begin around noon ET today. According to the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally website, the opening ceremonies parade will be led by the Budweiser Clydesdales and also will feature numerous special guests. The horses will also be available after the parade for patrons to take some photos.

Jody Perewitz, one of the most recognizable women in the motorcycle industry will serve as the parade’s Grand Marshal. She currently holds 16 land speed records, one of which is a world record. Perewitz is the first woman to ever jockey an American V-Twin-powered motorcycle into the record books at well over 200 miles per hour.

Sturgis Expects Record-Setting Rally

While today may mark the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally’s opening ceremonies, the rally is already underway. Throughout the last few days, motorcycles riders have been making their way to the small South Dakota town. In a recent social media post, city leaders say the excitement for the rally is already in the air as bikers begin to arrive. While many more will be arriving through the weekend, the number of riders is already starting to build.

Among the activities, bikers can choose to participate in are a beard and mustache contest, tattoo contest, 5k run and poker tournament. There will also be various concerts from a variety of musical artists throughout the event. Motorcycle daredevil Cole Freeman will also be on hand to attempt a record-breaking jump.

Of course, there will also be plenty of opportunities for scenic rides through South Dakota’s beautiful landscape.

Sturgis officials are also encouraging attendees to stress safe practices while on the backs of their motorcycles. They say law enforcement will be out in full force during the 10-day event.