ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Smaller crowds, less trouble at Sturgis rally

STURGIS, S.D.--As the 76th Sturgis Motorcycle Rally officially starts on Aug. 8, there were no fatal crashes reported so far as of Monday afternoon, compared to last year when six motorcyclists had died already in the weekend before.

2730166+0809 Sturgis.jpg

STURGIS, S.D.-As the 76th Sturgis Motorcycle Rally officially starts on Aug. 8, there were no fatal crashes reported so far as of Monday afternoon, compared to last year when six motorcyclists had died already in the weekend before.

There were, however, several serious injury accidents, 47 drunken driving arrests and 67 drug arrests as of Monday morning.

One accident caused Interstate 90 to be blocked for several hours west of nearby Spearfish on Saturday. Tony Mangan of the South Dakota Department of Safety said Damian Villareal, 38, of Palm Spring, Florida, lost control of his semi truck on the interstate and its tipped on its side, blocking the eastbound lanes of the interstate leading into Sturgis. Villareal suffering serious, but non-life-threatening injuries.

All categories of arrests at the rally known for its "partying" were done this year compared to last year when an estimated 800,000 to 1 million visitors flooded into the picturesque Black Hills city for the rally.

For example, last year there were 60 DUI arrests and 80 drug arrests by this time already.

ADVERTISEMENT

Last year, besides the six fatalities, there also had been 29 injury accidents, compared to just 12 so far this year, according to Mangan..

Law officers helping at the rally-as extra officers are called in from around the country-write plenty of warnings, too, during the event.

About the only category up this year was warning tickets written by those officers. So far this year, they have written 981 warning tickets compared to 1,257 last year.

As far as the vendors who flock to the city for the rally in buildings and streets throughout the town, Christina Steele, a public information officers for the city, said there were 699 temporary vending permits compared to 873 last year. It was still ahead of 2014 when 648 permits were given.

Events Monday kicking off the rally were the Mayor's Ride from Sturgis to Mount Rushmore then Custer State Park, flat track racing at the city's fairgrounds, hill climbing racing, short track races and concerts by Foghat, Lynyrd Skynyrd and Kat Perkins.

Tuesday there will be a B-1 Flyover on Main Street at 3 p.m. and a huge Harley-Davidson wedding at 6 p.m. downtown.

Other big-name concerts this week include Ted Nugent and Cheap Trick on Tuesday, Aug. 9, Loverboy on Wednesday, Aug. 10, Jackyl and Miranda Lambert on Thursday, Aug. 11, Buckcherry on Friday, Aug, 12 and Weird Al Yankovic on Saturday, Aug. 13.

An almost 50-year veteran of the newspaper business, Amundson has worked for The Forum and Forum News Service for 15 years. He started as a sport reporter in Minnesota. He is currently the city and night reporter for The Forum. bamundson@forumcomm.com 701-451-5665
What To Read Next
With HB 1205, Reps Mike Lefor and Vicky Steiner would prohibit "sexually explicit content" in public libraries. Facing an uphill battle, the pair remain united in their commitment to see it passed.
The North Dakota Highway Patrol is investigating the crash.
City accountant reports increases in oil impact, sales tax, hospitality tax and occupancy tax revenue during the Jan. 24 meeting, commission approves two policy amendments.
Testimony to the top House committee from a convicted attendee of the Jan. 6 rally focused on the "inhumane" treatment of Jan. 6 defendants. The committee rejected a resolution on the matter 12-0.