rally

STURGIS, S.D. – The 79th annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally is officially underway as Mayor Mark Carstensen made the proclamation at Harley Davidson Rally Point Friday. Carstensen’s declaration was preceded by daredevil Cole Freeman’s jump over Main Street.Freeman’s jump garnered excitement from the large crowd that had gathered to watch. Although Freeman’s jump happened in the blink of an eye, the crowd went wild as he cleared Main Street with ease. Sturgis Rally Information Officer Christina Steele says Coleman reached out to the city to ask if he could do the jump to help kick off this year’s event…

Steele says Main Street was turned over to the motorcycles earlier Friday and vendor numbers are slightly ahead of last year at 588…

Steele says the downtown corridor is already very busy, and she urges people coming into town to be patient and expect heavy traffic. As for parking, Steele says be prepared to walk a little bit…

Speaking of parking, Sturgis Police Geody Vandwaater says it’s one of the biggest problems for his department every year…

Vandewaater says he has a full staff of officers again this year, and several of them will be keeping an eye on things down on Main Street…

Vandewaater encourages rally goers to ride safe and ride sober. The South Dakota Highway Patrol shares that sentiment, and will begin offering their daily rally statistics this weekend.