Sturgis Motorcycle Rally continues as if COVID-19 never existed

The 2020 Sturgis Motorcycle Rally has gone ahead this week with over 250,000 bikers descending on the small town

Sturgis motorcycle rally

THE 80th running of the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally has gone ahead this week, despite widespread requests for the iconic motorcycle event to be cancelled.

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South Dakota, the state Sturgis is in, has had a relatively low number of cases up until this point, and never officially went into lockdown meaning that the event can still go ahead. That’s despite more than half of the population of the tiny town requesting for the event to be cancelled or at least postponed until a later date.

The organisers claim to be taking ‘all precautions’ to help stem the spread of the disease although facemasks are not mandatory and areas where social distancing is impossible, packed bars, and night clubs, for instance, are remaining open and accepting customers.

The ten-day event normally welcomes around 500,000 visitors, with estimates placing those at the event this year at around half of that – although as an open event that riders can simply ride into the total number is difficult to glean.

The organisers are working hard to ensure that locals worried about coming out for shopping and essential supplies during the event are catered for, with supplies being delivered to their door should they need them. Although there are no recommendations for riders travelling from so-called hot-spot states to stay away from the event at all!

Kevin Lunsmann, 63, told the Associated Press (AP) that the only difference he noticed from past events was “a few people wearing masks.” People were still filling bars and nightclubs, he said. “Everybody’s still partying hard.” Lunsmann told the AP.

“This is a huge, foolish mistake to make to host the rally this year,” Sturgis resident Linda Chaplin warned city officials earlier this summer, as a debate raged, according to the AP. “The government of Sturgis needs to care most for its citizens.”