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IPFS News Link • South Dakota

Sturgis Motorcycle Rally roars into its second day and 700K people descend on...


The Black Hills of South Dakota roared with motorcycles and crowds this weekend as the annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally kicked off, with mostly mask-less rallygoers packed shoulder-to-shoulder at bars despite a rise in COVID-19 cases in the state.

Organizers expect at least 700,000 people will be attending the 10-day rendezvous for motorcycle lovers, which kicked off on Friday. 

For some, it's a once-in-a-lifetime goal to make it to Sturgis while others faithfully make the pilgrimage year after year.

'It's just a great big family atmosphere, everybody´s out here for the same purpose - we all love motorcycles,' said Aaron Harper. 'If you're a motorcyclist, you have to see it at least once in your life.'

As noted by the Rapid City Journal, rallygoers are often seen walking with minimal clothing and body paint. 

One woman was seen walking downtown with a goat on a leash while a man sat on a bench with a rifle, the outlet reported.

Public health experts - and some locals - worried that the rally would again play host to coronavirus infections, after hundreds of rallygoers were infected last year. 

Only about 46% of adults who live in the county that hosts Sturgis are fully vaccinated, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, compared with 60.6% nationwide. 

Virus infections are on the rise in South Dakota after a steady decline through the spring and early summer - though the state has the fewest new virus cases per capita in the United States. 

The Department of Health reported a 68% jump in virus infections last week, with the highly contagious delta variant spurring a larger share of those infections.