SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Through day four, the traffic count for the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally is nearly halfway to 500,000.
The South Dakota Department of Transportation reported a four-day count of 241,776 vehicles. The count is better than the five-year average through four days which is 227,147 but less than in 2021. The four-day total in 2021 was about 252,000.
The city of Sturgis uses traffic counts, tons of garbage collected and photo analysis to estimate rally attendance each year. The S.D. DOT’s traffic counts are usually close to the city’s estimated crowd size.
The S.D. DOT counts traffic at nine locations entering Sturgis.
The DOT said 62,050 vehicles entered on Monday, Aug. 8. That is less than 2021 when 64,158 vehicles were counted. But, it’s higher than the five-year average.
In 2021, 525,768 vehicles were counted during the 10-day rally.
The first day, Friday, the count was 56,855 The count increased on Saturday to 62,199. The count on Monday was 60,672.
Generally, the first three days of the 10-day rally have the highest DOT traffic counts. But Monday counts have also been very high including 96,409 in 2015, the 75th Anniversary of the rally. The count was 78,203 on the Monday of the 2011 rally.
Rally attendees come from across the U.S. and several other countries.
Minnesota had been the top home state for rally goers from 2017 to 2019. Colorado took over in 2021. More rally goers came to Sturgis from Aug. 1 through Aug. 15 from Colorado than from any other state, according to the city of Sturgis 2021 motorcycle rally report.
Data provided by Airbnb provides some insight on where some of the 2022 bikers are coming from. Airbnb said on Monday, Aug. 8 that the origin cities for guests were Minneapolis, Minnesota, Denver, Colorado, Chicago, Illinois, Lawrenceville, Georgia, Madison, Wisconsin, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Lakeway, Texas, St. Louis, Missouri, Hutchinson, Kansas and Anaheim, California.