Sturgis

Lori Walsh

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Kenzie Wagner / SDPB

The Sturgis Motorcycle Rally is a weeklong event where bikers from all over the country enjoy scenic views, live entertainment, and lots of alcohol.

For the City of Sturgis Public Works Department, all of this adds up to about 500 tons of trash and other debris each year.   The bottles, beer cans, and other trash would pile up on the street. But, the city public works crew works 22 night shifts in a row before, during and after the rally to get the job done. This small town workforce deals with a big city cleanup, meaning every worker has to put in extra effort.

City of Sturgis

Snapchat is coming to the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally again this year.

The social media app is a messaging platform that lets users send time sensitive photos and videos to one another. It’s mostly used by millennials, but the Sturgis Rally is mostly attended by baby boomers.

 

Rally Temp Vendor Sales Tax Revenue Skyrockets

Sep 15, 2015
Chynna Lockett

One early indicator shows the 2015 Sturgis Rally topped all previous records by a large margin.

The sales tax revenue generated from temporary vendor booths for this year’s rally is 76 percent higher than last year.

Temporary vendors who came in for the rally brought in about $2.4-million in sales taxes. 

Lori Haupt  is with the South Dakota Department of Revenue.  

She tracks Sturgis Rally tax receipts year by year and she says 2015 blew past all previous records.

Photos From The 2015 Sturgis Rally

Aug 9, 2015
Chynna Lockett

The week long 75 Sturgis Rally came to an ending on Sunday, August 9. The event brought bikers from all over the Black Hills. Click the slideshow above to view photographs from the event. 

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

The 75th anniversary of the Sturgis Rally this week could double the population in South Dakota. If you somehow haven’t encountered bikes in person, you can’t escape them in the news. As part of our continuing coverage of the rally, here is one story that profiles some of the people you might encounter gliding through the state on two wheels.

Charles Michael Ray SDPB

An estimated one million people could be in the Black Hills this week for the 75th annual Sturgis Rally, which officially begins today. That would be the largest numbers of people ever recorded for the event. Last year’s event attracted less than half that, with an estimated 442,000 people in Sturgis. SDPB's Kent Osborne is one of the thousands of bikers at the rally and he joined Dakota Midday from downtown Sturgis.

See his blog post from the day.

The Humble Beginnings Of A Mega Bike Rally

Aug 3, 2015
Charles Michael Ray

The Sturgis Rally is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year, and if you’re listening to SDPB anywhere in the Black Hills or near a major highway anywhere in the state, it’s likely there is a rumbling motorcycle within earshot.

That’s because there are so many motorcycles in the state right now.  The rally could draw up to one million bikers this year.   The traffic numbers are already higher than average.  But 75 years ago the Sturgis Rally had a more humble beginning.

RESPECT Celebrates The Art Of Motorcycle Culture

Jul 13, 2015
Dahl Arts Center

When you think of bikers roaring into the Black Hills for the 75th Sturgis Rally an art gallery might be the last place you’d think they’d visit. But, the Dahl Arts Center in Rapid City wants to change that notion. The Dahl has a special exhibit celebrating biker culture and the 75th Rally anniversary. 

The stereotypical biker is not someone you’d expect to find in an art gallery.

75th Rally To See First Same Sex Wedding In 2015

Jul 6, 2015

The Sturgis Rally draws hundreds of thousands of people to the state each year the rally is also a popular place to for bikers to get married.   On big years the event can also see about 100 weddings performed during rally week both by municipal officials and by local businesses that perform and cater weddings.
 
This year-the rally will likely see its first same-sex wedding and one local business owner couldn’t be happier. 

The Sturgis Rally is a popular place to get hitched and that's true for this upcoming 75th rally anniversary where wedding reservations are up.

75th Sturgis Rally Could Approach One Million Bikers

Jun 23, 2015

Officials in the Black Hills say they expect 750,000 to one-million people at this year’s 75th annual Sturgis Rally.   Part of that total number depends on how you count.   Officials say they are seeing an increase in bikers before and after the rally that can increase the overall count.   The inflow of visitors means local residents have to deal with something they’re not always used to, traffic.

Tourism Experts Project High Numbers For Summer

May 26, 2015

Memorial Day marks the start of the tourism season in South Dakota.

Texas Biker Shootout Prior To Sturgis Rally 75th

May 18, 2015

A shoot-out between rival biker gangs in Texas left nine dead over the weekend.  The incident comes months ahead of the 75th anniversary of the Sturgis Rally set for early August.  

Hundreds of thousands of bikers are expected to converge on the Black Hills, and as always that includes some motorcycle gangs.   

But Sturgis Police Chief Jim Bush says each year extra officers from around the country are called in to help maintain security at Sturgis.  

Bill To Increase Penalty For Buying Sex Dies On House Floor

Mar 12, 2015

The State House of Representatives killed a measure that intended to crack down on sex traffickers and those who hire victims for sex.   
 
Lawmakers in the House and Senate could not agree on the language in the bill.  The measure aimed to increase the penalty for anyone who hires sex or services from someone who is a victim of sex trafficking.

Click play below to hear the rest of this story.

Sex Trafficking At The Sturgis Rally

Jan 6, 2014

We begin now a series of reports looking at sex trafficking in South Dakota.    It’s an issue you might not think occurs in a rural state like this.  But experts note that human trafficking could be happening right under your nose.

On today’s Dakota Digest – SDPB’s Charles Michael Ray takes us to the Sturgis Rally –where a number of arrests made for sex trafficking this year.

We need to issue a warning-- the descriptions in this story are graphic.
 

Paul and Michael Lewis' great-grandfather's recipes for whiskey are getting a new life as the Lewis brothers have started the Black Hills Distillery in Sturgis. Their first product, Sturgis Shine, is a 100-proof Irish moonshine that uses barley, clove honey and sugar. Paul and Michael discuss their new business and products.

Human Trafficking In South Dakota

Apr 11, 2013

When Hannah Miller decided to examine the growing issue of human trafficking in South Dakota, she decided to look at the issue first-hand.  She blended into the crowd during the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally to conduct undercover research.  Miller said South Dakota is among the top six worst states for human trafficking.  Miller is Friday's Augustana College Thought Leader Forum speaker when she presents "The Dirty Little Secrets: Human Trafficking in South Dakota" at 11:30 a.m. at C.J. Callaway's in Sioux Falls.

courtesy National Cemetery Association

The Black Hills National Cemetery is holding a ceremony today/Monday to honor veterans who’ve been buried or interred over recent months without full military honors.

Throughout the year, some veterans’ remains arrive at the Black Hills National Cemetery in an unaccompanied status. This means that neither friends nor family are present to attend those veterans’ burials or internments, which take place without a standard military program.