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Covid 19 has led to the cancellation of many events—but not the big rally at Sturgis, South Dakota. From August 7 through August 16, the town will welcome motorcycle enthusiasts with a full slate of music, special rides, and good fellowship. The city will set up hand sanitizing stations downtown and will sanitize sidewalks nightly. All city employees will have PPE, and the city will help vendors who cannot provide PPE for their employees.
Vendors need to take special precautions this year. For instance, they have a limit on the number of people who can enter buildings or tents based on city occupancy rules. They must post that number on a sign, which also says: “It is your personal choice and responsibility if you enter. You should maintain social distancing of 6’ between parties including at the register.” They must have hand sanitizer handy and encourage employees to use it often. They must ensure every employee has a mask and promote using them when the employee cannot be six feet away from other people.
Wherever beer or liquor is sold, owners must send home employees who feel ill or have Covid 19 symptoms. They must encourage patrons not to congregate in groups of ten or more that are less than six feet apart; be sure restrooms, all door handles, and any frequently touched services get heightened sanitation; follow the State Department of Health Checklist daily. Restaurants and bars and similar places must also consider moving tables so patrons can stay six feet apart and see that tables and counters are sanitized after each use. Video lottery machines must be six feet apart and sanitized after each use. No buffets or self-serve food areas are allowed.
If you go to Sturgis, please keep these guidelines in mind. Vendors are not trying to stifle your fun; they’re just doing what is required to try to keep everyone healthy.
Expect lots of music at Sturgis. This schedule is fluid because of the virus. Start on Friday, August 7 with Lita Ford. On Saturday, you can enjoy Puddle of Mudd and Cody Johnson. Sunday, August 9 features Cold Ford, TDWP, Royal Bliss, and Fozzy. Playing on Monday the 10th will be Ratt, the Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band, Fame on Fire, Light the Torch, Killswitch Engage, and Jesse James Dupree. On Tuesday, you can see Buckcherry, Saliva, Flaw, Whitey Morgan, and Hairball. Long-time favorite ZZ Top appears on Wednesday, August 12, as do Fire from the Gods, Motionless in White, and Hairball. Thursday will feature Jackyl, Stitched Up Heart, Saul, and Beartooth. On Friday, you’ll be able to hear Eagles of Death Metal, Skillet, 10 Years, and Crobot. Wrapping up on Saturday, August 15 will be Reverend Horton Heat and Bone. Various bars and campgrounds will have their own musical events—so check around once you get there.
Several city-sponsored events have been cancelled: opening ceremonies, parades, B1 flyover, and entertainment and music at Harley Davidson Rally Point. No photo towers will be installed. There will be some additional controls for traffic flow, but you should still be able to park your motorcycle downtown. There’ll be no plaza seating downtown and open containers of alcoholic beverages are not allowed.
And if you can’t go this year, you can still get a taste of Sturgis. The city is setting up webcams at City of Riders Headquarters and on the 1200 block of Main Street, at the City of Riders Motorcycle Expo lots, and at the Sturgis Liquor Store give you a bird’s eye view of what’s happening. If you’ve been thinking about going, but haven’t taken the plunge, check out the action via these webcams.