Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines. This summer’s Sturgis Motorcycle Rally could attract as many as a million people to the tiny South Dakota town for the 75th anniversary of the rally.
If 853,000 or more people show up, the figure will top the entire state’s population.
The mammoth biker bash will be Aug. 3-9.
With the huge crowds in mind, an Orange County event organizer will develop Sturgis City Park as an entertainment venue and a giant parking lot.
“In the city park, we have the largest paved parking lot in all of the Sturgis city limits,” John Oakes of Laguna Hills’ Synergy Global Entertainment told me. From the park, it’s a short walk to downtown, the event’s epicenter.
“The sound is like a passing train that never stops, morning, noon and night,” Oakes said. “That rumble never goes away.”
A shuttle service will also link the park with the main drag.
Oakes, who has ridden his Harley from California to Sturgis more times than he can remember, has daily live music and motorcycle stunt shows planned. (Those events start July 30 and conclude Aug. 8.) Vendors of parts and accessories will also be in the park selling their wares.
Admission to the various events is free, but parking isn't ($10 for bikes).
Besides the various cycle-themed activities in Sturgis, the back roads of the beautiful Black Hills also beckon.
“It’s a celebration of life, American freedom and being out on the open road,” Oakes said.
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