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STURGIS MOTORCYCLE RALLY

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Since a high water mark of attendance in 2015, attendance at the rally, a key driver of summer tourism in South Dakota, has stagnated around a half-million total attendees. Sturgis's city manager says attracting more first-time attendees is a major focus of the city's rally and events department.
In the eight days of data provided by the South Dakota Highway Patrol, troopers reported three fatalities and 66 injuries across 53 crashes.
The South Dakota Department of Public Safety is releasing daily updates on crashes and crime in and around Sturgis for the duration of the nine-day rally.
With transportation and other necessities costing households more, total visitors to the state in May were 7% below the same time last year. Various attractions around the state say they're noticing the drop.
Four persons are counted in the end-of-Rally fatality report. Prosecutors also brought charges are three individuals for underage solicitation of sex in a sting during the Rally.
Noem rode both a horse and a motorcycle at the Rally on Monday, helping sell an oil painting of her for $55,000 in a charity auction. Staff says this was Noem's first time at the massive western South Dakota biker bash.

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The 81st Sturgis Motorcycle Rally — notorious for bawdy bikers and free-wheeling attitudes — kicks off Thursday, Aug. 5. Regional health professionals fear, just as last year's event, the event may ignite a coronavirus outbreak.
Since the 10-day Sturgis Motorcycle Rally ended Aug. 16, 112 cases have been linked to the event by state health officials in South Dakota, Minnesota, North Dakota, Nebraska, Montana, Wyoming, Wisconsin and Washington, according to Forum News Service and other media reports.
PIERRE, S.D. — A person who attended the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally last week tested positive for COVID-19, prompting the South Dakota Department of Health to issue an exposure alert Tuesday, Aug. 18.

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