Sturgis council votes to allow open containers during motorcycle rally

Sturgis Motorcycle Rally (file photo)
Sturgis Motorcycle Rally (file photo)(Josh Morgan/Rapid City Journal via AP)
Updated: May. 18, 2021 at 11:20 AM CDT
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STURGIS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - The Sturgis City Council has approved a measure allowing open containers on Main Street during this year’s Sturgis Motorcycle Rally.

KBHB Radio reports the council passed the measure in a 7-2 vote in its meeting Monday night.

City leaders say allowing open containers during the rally offers several positives, including giving visitors a more relaxed, inviting experience downtown as well as offering a new revenue stream for the city and Sturgis Rally charities.

Sturgis City Manager Daniel Ainslie says the plan consists of allowing consumption of alcohol from an open container within an approximate area of Main and Lazelle streets. Signs will be in place to inform people of open container boundaries. Consumption of either beer or wine would be restricted to a special event cup, and people would need to first get a wrist band indicating they are over age 21.

Sturgis Police Chief Geody VanDewater says law enforcement will work with the city on the plan, adding that he had anticipated an open container law eventually getting approved.

“I don’t have the facts that I can sit here today and tell you, based on this, I think it’s a bad idea,” VanDewater said. “But I can guarantee you me and my staff will do everything we can to keep everyone safe, and in compliance, one way or another.”

Sturgis Council President Beka Zerbst says this plan is for one year only, and will be revisited next year.

The open container will run from Friday, Aug. 6 through Saturday, Aug. 14, and is effective between the hours of 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.

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