Is Sturgis Canceled?

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In a world where questions loom large, the answer to the question “Is Sturgis canceled?” is crystal clear. Put simply, NO.

The Sturgis Motorcycle Rally is NOT canceled, and it would never have been canceled even if City of Sturgis had voted to not participate in it on June 15, 2020.

According to a press release, the reason for this lies in the fact that no one owns the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally.

Since its humble beginnings in 1937, the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally has been an event built by bikers for bikers. So as long as the riders want to come, the 80th Sturgis Rally is on for 2020. The Black Hills region and countless area businesses will be hosting the event, just as they’ve done for 79 years.

According to a 2018 ruling, the Court of Appeals for the Eight Circuit referenced the rally as “an unorganized event where motorcyclist[s] showed up in Sturgis the first week in August and had a good time.”

There’s no doubt motorcyclists are going to show up.

Here’s why:

But what about the City of Sturgis vote? Could the Rally have been canceled?

You may have heard that the Sturgis City Council voted on whether to cancel the rally during its June 15 meeting. This decision has been cause for some confusion, leading some to conclude that the entire Sturgis Motorcycle Rally could have been wiped from the calendar in 2020.

This couldn’t be further from the truth.

According to the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals, “…the record does not indicate that the City’s involvement in the rally extends beyond the heroic provision of municipal services.”

The court ruling goes on to state, “We agree and hold that the jury could not infer from the onerous planning that the City undertakes to provide infrastructure for the rally that the City was the organizer or sponsor of the rally. To allow such an inference would be tantamount to saying that it would be reasonable to infer that the City of New York organizes the sessions of the United Nations General Assembly because of everything it does to assist their occurrence.”

The City of Sturgis is not the organizer of the rally and therefore cannot cancel the event or stop you from coming.

The Black Hills region and its hosting businesses are just as excited for the 2020 Sturgis Motorcycle Rally as you are. If you’re making the trip and want to know how best to navigate during COVID-19, check out the helpful tips in How to Do Sturgis During COVID-19.

Are you coming to the 2020 Sturgis Motorcycle Rally? Tell us where you’ll be visiting from in the comments below!

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