The annual Sturgis Rally is the ultimate party, even if you are not a biker. Traditionally, every year during the second week of August, the quiet little town (population 7,000) a few minutes down the interstate from Rapid City swells multiple times its size and fills with hundreds of thousands of bikers. Many ride their bikes to the event from all across the country and some make it a point to come every year. Others prefer to trailer their bikes (called "trailer queens") to the event and unload it once they arrive. Not everyone has an iron butt, I suppose.

It's not just the bikes and bikers that impact the town for 10 days. You've got literally hundreds of vendors, bartenders, dancers, bands & stage crews, extra security (cops from around the country come to help keep the peace), and more. Last year's rally had around 490,000 people attend, according to the Rapid City Journal. Granted, many of them stay in surrounding communities, but still... that's HUGE. The economic impact of the rally is staggering.

With COVID-19 ruining everyone's plans this year, there has been chatter the past few weeks/months that the 80th Sturgis Rally wouldn't happen for 2020. Some fans of the event were saying they were coming, regardless if it was "officially" happening. Earlier this week, the Sturgis City council voted 8-1 to allow the event to happen with the city of Sturgis' approval. That's great news. In a press release dated June 16, the city said:

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.

Some events that are traditionally hosted by the City of Sturgis will not be happening, including:

  • Opening ceremonies
  • Parades
  • B1 Flyover
  • Entertainment and live music at Harley-Davidson Rally Point
  • Photo towers will not be installed.

Many musicians and bands are not touring this year either, however, the Buffalo Chip website is showing a pretty decent line-up. The Full Throttle Saloon is having live entertainment as well.