The Buffalo Chip’s 2008 Sturgis Rally
Wow! The 2008 Buffalo Chip Festival was truly something for this Nation’s history books!. Senator John Thune, from the Wolfman Jack Memorial Stage, welcomed you all to South Dakota and to the Legendary Buffalo Chip, followed by a nice welcome from South Dakota’s current Governor, Michael Rounds who, with his wife at his side, introduced the Honorable Senator John McCain. Thank you so much for the traditional Buffalo Chip welcome you gave Senator McCain.
The Senator and his wife Cindy arrived at the Chip in the late afternoon, said hello to several folks, walked through and bought some t-shirts at the Chip’s gift shop and then took the stage. There the Senator quipped that he’d encouraged Cindy to participate in the Ms. Buffalo Chip beauty pageant and that perhaps she could be the first woman to be both Ms. Buffalo Chip and this Nation’s First Lady in the same year.
Yes! This presidential candidate not only has enough courage to appear at a bike rally, but he also has a sense of humor. We like this guy. And Cindy, wearing a Bill Blass embroidered Buffalo Chip button-down collared shirt, just smiled. Truly a class act if ever there was one.
I just spoke with a gentleman who’d viewed it on television news in Hamburg, Germany and, while he didn’t understand a word of it in German, he said he clearly saw you in the crowd at the Chip and that it was all very favorably received by his German friends. I believe you made all bikers look good in the world’s eye.
Well, on to the more mundane. 2008 was the Chip’s 27th annual event and, thanks to you, it was another year of growth. The entertainment lineup was phenomenal and the Buffalo Chip Music Festival was recognized by Rolling Stone magazine as one of the nation’s premier musical events. And virtually everything worked well. The pasture became a city for a couple of weeks and then the turkey, quail and other wildlife returned. Life is good.
The enlarged and improved beach area worked well and the additional bar on the beach seemed appreciated, as were the new flush toilets at the beach. More than 50 attendants and 10 trucks serviced the toilets and overall it worked very well, despite the company having tried a new deodorant chemical that must have had a smooth-talking salesman. Undoubtedly someone still had a negative experience, but we’ll attempt to get ever closer to perfection next year. Expect even more toilets in the amphitheater next year (and the old-faithful chemical treatments for both the toilets and roads).
The additional stage and accompanying area near the Fondue Barn also seemed appreciated. It created a very good place to enjoy the evening’s last dance and a drink before retiring to the South 40.
Several television shows were being recorded at the Chip again this year, along with a music video. We enjoy hearing from you when you’ve seen a broadcast. Thanks again.
Thanks, too, to our sponsors who helped make this year work so well. Sucker Punch Sally’s gave away a custom bike to one lucky member of the Thursday night audience who’d taken the time to register (no purchase necessary). The SD Liquor Dealers Association gave another away on Saturday night. And the many sponsors of the Chip’s inaugural Legends Ride made it possible to contribute almost $38,000 to the Kids & Chrome Foundation. The top bike builders, television and movie stars, NASCAR drivers and NFL football players were in abundance at the Chip. And the Baker Drive Train’s Friday night celebrity burnouts added a whole new dimension to entertaining frivolity.
2008 was a fun year that defied all expectations. Thank you. And please know that plans were underway for Buffalo Chip’s 2009 event before the 2008 Sturgis Rally had ended. Like always, the crew will continue to make improvements throughout the year, so please let us know of any you think might make your party a little better. We’ll be ready for you and your friends again in ’09. Til then,
Ride Free, Take Risks and we’ll see your smiling faces in August.
PS. Thanks for all the compliments, too. I particularly like the dozens of comments about how friendly and helpful the staff was. We all appreciate that.
And we enjoy e-mails like the following that came in today, too:
1. My gang of 6 were first timers!! All of us had the time of our lives. The concerts, the greatest, what a line up. And the people were from all over the world meeting some of them was a blast. Lost 4 pair of jeans, found them were I left at the laundry 24 hours later, folded and stacked. Thats honesty, thats the kind of people that were there. THANKS from all of us new OKIE CHIPSTERS
2. I won't not be at the Chip. What a great place. Yes, I know I am sleeping on a piece of pasture, and I could do that right here in Kansas. I have to marvel at what you do with the pasture. Such a tranformation both over the years and over each year. How you folks do what you do is simply beyond me. Amazing. What great concerts, too!
Most amazing is that everyone I have met does it with a smile and an attitude of cooperation. Thanks, too, for John McCain. I was impressed that he would speak to us. Watching the crew set up the amphitheater and break down the fence and metal detectors was really interesting.
At the moment, Kyle is in Kuala Lampur, Malayasia. They are still headed to the Middle East. I have included a picture of the two of us at home after our stay at the Chip in 2007.