SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) – COVID-19 is not slowing down Sturgis, South Dakota, as the town gets ready to host its 80th annual event.
Folks all across the country make their way up to South Dakota to be a part of the event with many people passing right through Siouxland.
The 10-day event will begin Friday. According to the Associated Press, more than 250,000 people are expected to ride through western South Dakota.
Here in Siouxland, a bike shop owner tells KCAU that business has been booming with people needing repairs before riding up to the annual Sturgis event.
“It’s been busy consistently all summer so with a little bit of Sturgis push, that overwhelmed us a little bit. We stayed late last week and worked a little extra hard to get the bikes out,” Nick Salmen the owner of Salmen Cycle solutions, said.
He said he’s seen an increase in business since the pandemic hit and it hasn’t slowed down with Sturgis around the corner.
“We haven’t seen a lot of bikers on the side of being cautious as far as going to Sturgis. They’re all excited to go… Everybody’s going out and riding I don’t think it’s holding them back,” Salmen added.
It’s not holding a Des Moines couple cruising through Siouxland back, either.
Helena Short and Kent Casebolt planned to tie the knot in Sturgis this year.
“Then here come COVID. We were like oh, do we? Or, not. Then we said we do. And we’ll say, I do, soon. So we’ll try to stay away from the crowds and social distance and do our thing and be safe and do our part to curve the virus,” the couple said.
Siouxland Community Health Chief Medical Officer, Michael Piplani said if you plan on attending the rally it’s best to avoid the crowds as much as possible.
“They’re going there to ride their motorcycles. So really, enjoy the scenery and ride a lot so you’re not in crowds… Try to stay about six feet apart from people in front and back and try to maneuver to maintain that social distance,” Dr. Piplani said.
Dr. Piplani adds there’s less of a risk at an event like Sturgis if everyone wears a mask. He whether you plan on heading to Sturgis or any large gathering, it’s best to bring extra masks in case one gets lost or dirty and it’s always a good idea to bring your own sanitizing supplies, just in case.