Sturgis Rally is the BIGGEST party of the YEAR and held here every first full week of August!
Every year for a solid week, thousands of die hard Harley Davidson fans, and fun time partiers swarm the little town of Sturgis South Dakota. This is an amazingly fun event, but it is not necessarily one recommended for families!
August 2012 rang in the 72nd annual Sturgis rally that Sturgis has hosted, lots of hard party times over those 72 years!
Public nudity is no longer allowed, and is enforced (read/mostly!) nowadays. But that wasn't always the case! People push the nudity ban to the limits on this constantly too.
Most everybody here comes to party and let their hair down for a week. They literally
get to be someone else for that entire time, if they choose, and most do!
Doesn't matter if you are a Lawyer, Doctor, Dentist, Sports star, Rock star or what, everybody here dresses how they want and does what they want. Everybody seems to have a sense of brother and sisterhood camaraderie no matter where they are from.
Everyone here shares the common ground of riding Harley Davidson's and that is good enough to put everyone on the same equal ground for the week, it's all about fun and bikes.
Some of the most popular, and even legendary, Sturgis Rally bars are:
Buffalo Chip (out of town but major parties here!)
Easy Riders Saloon (downtown)
Full Throttle Saloon (as seen on TV!)
Loud American Roadhouse (downtown)
Pingel/Shifters Bar and Grill (downtown)
Glencoe Campground (out of town)
All during the day and night you will find people in the bars as well as live entertainment. Some you have to pay for, others not! People watching is another favorite pass time.
These 3 girls are sporting airbrush painted "tops" which are pretty popular! They are also walking billboards advertising body art by Mike. Smart marketing, eh?
Old Fort Meade Museum is just outside of town on the way to the Full Throttle Saloon. They have old relics and rich history of early settlers of the area. Fort Meade was the original Military Fort to the area, and was instrumental in keeping peace between the Native Americans and the incoming Settler's coming to the region.
Sturgis Motorcycle Museum and Hall of Fame is located right on Main Street Sturgis, in the towns old Post Office Building. It has 2 levels full of Motorcycles and memorabilia and opened in 2002. Open 7 days a week and admission is only $5.
While you are at the Sturgis Rally you HAVE to drive the couple miles over to Bear Butte State Park! This is a sacred site to the Native Americans and Prayers and Rituals are still performed here.
This mountain was where General Custer confirmed that gold was indeed here, and Gold Prospectors from miles around flocked to the area. This Mountain served as a beacon to keep them headed in the right direction.
Steep heavy duty hike, and super hot as there is hardly any shade. Worth it when you get to the top.
You mean to tell me that partying for 7 days straight has got you bored and you are looking for something else to do?
The Black Hills is a popular destination spot for worldwide travelers, so you are in luck too! You don't have to feel trapped in a little town full of crazy, drunken Harley enthusiasts...no way! There are tons of fun things to do and see in our area!
There are lazy, sleepy little towns to visit like Hill City, Custer and Keystone. Our version of "big city" which is the largest town around..Rapid City. The notorious Deadwood South Dakota is just down the road from Sturgis and is another required stop if you are wanting to experience some of our "Wild West" heritage.
One of the most well known Monuments in the World, Mount Rushmore National Monument is found here.
A moving Tribute to a Warrior can be found at Crazy Horse Memorial, just outside of the town of Custer.
A definite to put of the To-Do list is Badlands National Park, where you will see landscapes like no where else.
Another "gotta see" while you are here, and my families personal favorite, the legendary
Custer State Park. CSP houses one the largest free ranging herd of Buffalo in the US.
Scenic drives are everywhere but our best shine with Spearfish Canyon, Needles Highway, and Iron Mountain Road.
You won't get bored here, in fact my bet is you will run out of time before you run out of things you want to do!
If you are planning on coming to the Sturgis Rally, hopefully you are making your plans in advance! Finding a motel room during this time is pretty hard, and EXTREMELY pricey! Everybody cashes in on that fact, from motels to homeowners.
Most folks book the next years accommodations while they are there for the current Rally, it is THAT important! Especially if you want to stay closer to Sturgis itself.
Now that Rapid City has recently built 5 new hotels all around the interstate it will help greatly with the overflow, but it is not a guarantee by any means!
If you really want to experience the Rally in all it's full on party mode, then I recommend staying at the Buffalo Chip. DO NOT bring the kids, in fact they are not even allowed at most of the biker campgrounds during Rally week. Ya, it gets THAT crazy!
Most of the campgrounds in the area have shuttle buses now that will take you back and forth from Sturgis, which is awesome! We lose several lives every year due to drinking and driving.
Some of the close and popular Sturgis Camping sites are:
Sturgis Rally YEARS ago used to be a lot "rougher" then it is now.
I remember as a kid going up to the Motorcycle Rally during the daytime with my Grandparents. Wow! They would have never taken me if they knew what we were going to see!
In the middle of town, in the middle of Main St. there
was quite a commotion going on. A PUBLIC bathtub was set up right smack
dab in the middle of the street. And yes, people were using it, and
parading their naked selves out to it (to the exuberant cheers of the
onlookers). I was shocked, and a little grossed out..the water looked
very dirty from where I was standing. But hey, campsites were a lot more primitive back then!
Back in the
day, if someone dared to go to the Sturgis Rally on a "rice burner" they were rode
out of town fast, with Harley Bikers hot on their heals. Rumors had it
that a few of those motorcycles were hung from trees and lit on fire.
You don't see that nowadays, so the party has tamed down a lot.
But make no doubt about it, Sturgis is a wild and fun time, a huge party for a solid week, and one that if you do once, you will never forget. In fact, you will probably find yourselves booking for the next year, before you leave. Just like the rest of the gang.
Next years party is just around the corner!
Hi, I am Jo. Welcome!
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