The Sturgis City Council has announced that a modified 80th Annual City of Sturgis Motorcycle Rally is being prepared. The event will have significant changes to city-sponsored events with the intention of safeguarding the community and residents.
Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the City of Sturgis has taken a proactive approach in completing an in-depth process to determine the best path moving forward in an effort to protect the residents while considering if or how to host the annual event. This process has included monitoring COVID-19 infection rates and extensive communication with local health care providers. City staff and Council members have participated in more than 100 calls with various federal, state, and local agencies, communities, chambers of commerce, businesses, governmental officials, and Meade 46-1 School District. A special town hall meeting was hosted on June 8 to hear comments and concerns from residents, businesses, and Rally enthusiasts.
After considering many options, the City Council voted in favor of moving forward with preparations for the large influx of tourists and participants coming to enjoy the Black Hills, with a focus on preserving the safety of our residents. Attendees will be asked to be respectful of the community concerns by practicing social distancing and taking personal responsibility for their health by following CDC guidelines. Enhanced safety and sanitization protocols will be carried out for rally-goers, including public hand sanitizing stations throughout the downtown area. In addition to the normal cleaning efforts, nightly sanitization of sidewalk areas will take place in the downtown area. Temporary vendors will be asked to abide by state and federal protocols and guidelines related to COVID-19. PPE will be available for all city staff, and any businesses that have issues with finding available personal protective equipment for their employees.
The City of Sturgis will continue to encourage any and all residents to utilize the Sturgis Good Deeds program for any of their local shopping needs. This program began in March to aid residents with pre-existing conditions, those in the high-risk category, or those with general health concerns with grocery or other essential needs by contactless deliveries free of charge. This service is conducted by City staff and a host of wonderful volunteers.
The City-sponsored, celebratory events including opening ceremonies, parades, B1 Flyover, and entertainment and live music at Harley-Davidson Rally Point have been canceled. Photo towers will not be installed. These changes are designed to reduce the large crowd gatherings in the downtown core. We look forward to offering events again in 2021.
To assist with traffic flow, the City will have temporary traffic controls in place, and transportation services will be available. Motorcycle parking in the downtown areas will continue as in past years, with the ability to reduce the footprint if needed. Additional staff will be available to provide fire, ambulance, and law enforcement services for the City of Sturgis and the surrounding areas.
In the event of a health emergency, the Sturgis Mayor has the authority to modify these plans as necessary upon notification from the local health officials, the State Department of Health, the Governor’s Office, or the CDC.
The City of Sturgis Motorcycle Rally is an icon of American Freedom and Independence. The City of Sturgis has been the pre-eminent host of this event for decades and welcomes each visitor to the event. We ask that attendees help maintain the safety of our community and guests alike by respecting protocols and guidelines. We look forward to celebrating the City of Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in grand style in 2021.