US holds massive Sturgis motorcycle rally despite pandemic

Bikers Ride
Bikers ride through downtown Sturgis, S.D., on Friday, Aug. 7, 2020. Organizers of the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally expect 250,000 people to visit the town of Sturgis during the 10 day rally. (AP Photo/Stephen Groves)

Tens of thousands of motorcycle riders have descended on a small town in South Dakota for a week-long annual rally taking place despite the pandemic and high infection rates in the US.

While many parts of the rally in the town of Sturgis are outdoors, local media outlets over the weekend showed that indoor bars have been crowded and that masks are not required.

Local authorities estimate some 250,000 people may attend the rally. While this is just half the normal attendance figure, it would remain one of the largest mass gatherings in the US since the pandemic hit.

The rally has been an annual fixture since 1938. Bikers from across the country, many riding iconic Harley-Davidson motorcycles, head to the town for concerts, races and charity events.

Sturgis, a town of just several thousand people, is strongly associated with the rally – the main intersection in the town is the corner of Main Street and Harley-Davidson Way. Its economy depends heavily on the event.

South Dakota Governor Kristin Noem last week told Fox News she was determined to let the rally take place, noting that it was vital to the state’s revenue flow. Noem hosted a July 4 Independence Day rally by President Donald Trump at Mount Rushmore.

Sturgis itself plans to provide virus tests for residents after the rally concludes.
The rally started over the weekend and continues until August 16.

Football news:

Ronald Koeman: It's normal for Messi to be sad about a friend leaving. Leo is a model for everyone in training
Brighton are the kings of bad luck. Set a Premier League record on bars (5 times per match!), lost to Manchester United due to a penalty after the final whistle
Solskjaer on 3-2 with Brighton: Manchester United deserved one point, no more. Good thing there is no Mourinho to measure the goal
Brighton coach on 2:3 with Manchester United: Sometimes life is unfair. We dominated
The referee blew the final whistle, but after VAR awarded a penalty in favor of Manchester United. Bruno scored in the 99th minute after Brighton's goal in the 95th
Koeman on Suarez's departure: I'm not the villain in this movie. This is the club's decision
Maguire scored the 2nd goal for Manchester United in the Premier League and the first since February