Event of the Month: Sturgis Motorcycle Rally

Event of the Month: Sturgis Motorcycle Rally


Sturgis, SD | August 2-11, 2019

Each summer, Sturgis, South Dakota hosts the largest motorcycle rally in the world. The 10-day event in the beginning of August boasts an average of over 500,000 attendees each year, and generates more than $800 million in revenue for the town of Sturgis, SD. The Rally has become a mecca for motorcycle enthusiasts all over the world.

The first rally, then called the “Black Hills Classic”, was founded by Clarence “Pappy” Hoe in 1938 and was run by the Jackpine Gypsies motorcycle club. It was sponsored by Indian Motorcycles, an American brand of motorcycles produced from 1901 to 1953 in Springfield, Massachusetts. Originally, the Rally focused on just a few stunts and racing courses, but was later expanded to include other types of track and cross country racing as well as a showcase for motorcycles and their riders. The Rally has been held every year since its inception, save for during World War II because of gasoline rationing, and has cemented its place in American history. 

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Sturgis not only gives motorcycle enthusiasts a place to see the latest innovations, designs and merchandise available to today’s rider, but it also provides visitors a chance to visit some of America’s most beautiful landscapes, sights and national parks. Nearby places of interest include Mount Rushmore, Fort Meade, Pioneer Museums, and the Badlands and Jewel Cave National Parks. The area also includes Native American places of interest such as the South Dakota Bear Butte State Park and the Crazy Horse Memorial. Beyond being a showcase of the latest in motorcycle innovation, Sturgis, SD is also a great location in an area steeped in national history.

As the Rally has grown to be the largest in the world, it has also become the most lucrative of events for the town of Sturgis, providing 95% of the town’s annual revenue and bringing in over $800 million during the 10-day run. Sturgis earned almost $270,000 in 2011 from selling event guides and sponsorships alone. It continues to draw top musical performers, and this year features acts such as Keith Urban, Snoop Dog, Toby Keith, Cheap Trick, and many more. The Rally even draws high profile television shows and events: in 1997, the COPS television series attended the rally (along with Dennis Rodman). It’s also been featured on American Pickers and ESPN, hosted a World Championship Wrestling pay-per-view event, and the subject of two Travel Channel documentaries. 

This year, discover the best of the best when it comes to all things motorcycles. Visit The Sturgis Motorcycle Rally’s website to view the full event schedule and to purchase tickets.

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