By a 8-1 vote, the city voted to hold the Rally with modifications. Parking on Main Street will be normal while seating will not be allowed in the plaza. City officials say that the Rally will be scaled down and that the main focus is to keep residents and visitors safe.
“There’s not going to be a lot of the public activities that there usually are so including the opening ceremonies, the B1 flyover, different contests and activities and parades and things that we usually do during the Rally we would not be doing that because that really does encourage and if you see any of the photographs there tends to be thousands of people lined on the Main Street,” said Dan Ainslie, the Sturgis City Manager. “We’re trying to avoid that.”
Extra sanitary measures will be in place which will include hand sanitizing stations throughout the city and disinfecting sidewalks every night.
If conditions change over the next seven weeks, the mayor has the right to make necessary adjustments up to and including the cancellation of the Rally entirely.
“I'm very pleased with the city council's decision to join the 2020 rally this year,” said Randy Peterson of Sturgis.com, the original site dedicated to promoting the Sturgis Rally. “A sampling of more than 50 local businesses and campgrounds had already stated they would be open for business, but with the City's involvement, necessary municipal services will be provided within city limits.”
The City's involvement in the rally will allow the sale of vendor permits within the City and Main Street will be closed off to motorcycle-only traffic.
The City's decision only affects what happens within City limits, not the rest of the Black Hills region. To date, neither the State of South Dakota nor any Black Hills' government has suspended rally events.
The 80th Anniversary of the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally will be held Aug. 7-16, 2020. Concerts such as ZZ Top, Puddle of Mud, Black Label Society, Ratt, Eagles of Death Metal, Buckcherry, Lita Ford, and the Reverend Horton Heat will be taking place.
Sturgis City Manager Daniel Ainslie presented the council with four options for the 2020 Sturgis Motorcycle Rally–1. Cancel the Rally; 2. Postpone and Prepare; 3. Modified 80th; 4. Hold the 80th. By an overwhelming majority, the city council voted to implement option 3–Modified 80th.
Here are the restrictions in Ainslie’s report for the 80th annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally:
- Cancel opening ceremonies
- Cancel activities (5k, contests, etc.)
- Cancel use of fairgrounds
- Cancel B-1 flyover
- Cancel photo towers
- Cancel noon and 5 p.m. photos
- Cancel H-D Rally Point bands
- Cancel H-D Rally Point contest
- No bike parking on sides from Junction to 3rd to allow for plazas and outdoor seating
Ainslie’s report also included safeguards to be implemented:
- PPE stockpiled for local businesses
- Purchase PPE for employees
- Sanitation stations along Main Street
- Increased sanitation of PortaPots
- Disinfect sidewalks
Vendors will be working with the following restrictions:
- Guidelines for distancing at register
- Guidelines for PPE
- Guidelines of occupancy
City rides will still happen, though advertising will be pulled to lower the number of attendees at the 80th Sturgis Motorcycle Rally.
These guidelines were the result of the monitoring of infection rates locally and in surrounding areas, a survey of Sturgis households, consultation with over 100 agencies in the Black Hills region, discussion with state and county officials, local health care providers, the local school district, a community town hall meeting, and rally fans.
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