STURGIS, S.D. (WKRG/BIKER DAD)– The mayor of Sturgis South Dakota says the best way to ensure a record breaking crowd at the annual motorcycle rally there, is to tell bikers they can’t rally. In a Facebook video posted this week Mayor Mark Carstensen said bikers will show up in the small town this August despite the coronavirus pandemic and even if the city doesn’t sponsor the event, “I’ve always said for ten years of being mayor… if we want the largest rally, the city of Sturgis should say we’re not having a rally. I believe that ignites the spirit of both motorcyclists and Americans. This country was built on rights and freedoms and motorcyclists certainly illustrate that every day with the way they live.”

Carstensen started off the video with a quote from the founding fathers, “this was written by Benjamin Franklin over 200 years ago. ‘Any society that will give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and will lose both’.” The city will officially decide on June 15th if it will give its blessing for the event. But the mayor says that may not make much difference, “there are people coming as we speak and I believe that no matter what decision is made on June 15th there are still people coming to the rally.” He says many of the tourists already visiting are bikers, and doesn’t see why that would change without a rally.

The city has made millions of dollars from the rally and uses the money to lower local taxes and fund projects like a major water project currently underway. Losing the tourism dollars would clearly be a huge it to the local economy. But, the mayor says, public health must still be taken into consideration.

You can keep up with Sturgis events by visiting their official rally website here.

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Chris Best is the News Director for WKRG. He’s a husband and father of four. He’s also a motorcycle enthusiast.