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Sturgis Motorcycle Rally 75th Anniversary

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

American Government Motorcycles Topics:  Sturgis Motorcycle Rally

Sturgis Motorcycle Rally 75th Anniversary

Senator Mike Rounds
Congressional Record: 114th Congress
August 5, 2015


Mr. ROUNDS. Mr. President, today I wish to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, taking place this week in Sturgis, SD. No single week in the entire year boasts a greater influx in the State's overall population than the week of the annual event the first week of August. During that week, motorcyclists gather together in perhaps the largest bike gathering of all time. This year, more than 1 million visitors from across the world are estimated to attend the rally--more than the entire population of South Dakota.

What began as a single motorcycle race in 1938, the weeklong rally takes place in the small town of Sturgis in the Black Hills of western South Dakota, a normally quiet town with a population of just over 6,000. During the week of the rally, however, Main Street Sturgis evolves into a platform for chrome, leather, and denim, where motorcycle enthusiasts and other tourists come to enjoy like-minded company, various forms of entertainment, the South Dakota landscape, and local food and grub.

The economic impact of the rally is impressive. A study conducted by the Rally Department of the city of Sturgis gauged the economic impact of the 2010 rally, which hosted 466,000 attendees, as generating roughly $817 million dollars in economic activity for the State. That is just in 1 year.

And not just the city of Sturgis benefits. Though the rally only lasts a week, the magnificence of the State often compels visitors to stick around even longer. Many attendees travel to South Dakota weeks before the rally begins or extend their stay afterward to travel our State and take in its beauty and many tourist attractions. With the Black Hills National Forest, Badlands National Park, Mount Rushmore National Monument, and the Crazy Horse Memorial all within driving distance, visitors can experience the buzzing commotion of bikers and chrome one day and the pristine beauty of South Dakota's Black Hills the next. The contrast is captivating, and it boosts economic activity throughout the region. By all accounts, this year has been no different. It appears the 75th Annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally is already off to a great start, and it could very well be a record-breaking year.

Rally week is always an exciting time to be in South Dakota, and I wish everyone attending this year's rally a safe, happy, and fun-filled trip. Congratulations to everyone who has worked to make the rally a world-renowned event over the past 75 years. I wish our State and the city of Sturgis many more successful years of hosting the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally.

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