STURGIS — Street closures in and around Sturgis for the annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally are slated to begin Aug. 6.
Sturgis Rally and Events Director Jerry Cole told the mayor and city councilmembers prior to the passage of the closure resolution that this year there are some variables to what has been done in the recent past.
He announced that the Budweiser Clydesdales will be on hand for the opening ceremonies of the 81st Sturgis Motorcycle Rally at noon on Aug. 6. Traditionally, the city closes Main Street Sturgis to motorcycle traffic only at 2 a.m. on the official opening day of the Rally. But this year, the city will place cones and barricades in the center Main Street parking lane and close that until after opening ceremonies, Cole said.
“We would like them (the horses) to parade down Main Street during the opening ceremonies. However, that poses several problems – specifically motorcycles (parked) four deep on Main Street,” he said.
Closing the center lane will allow the Clydesdales to come down Main Street and handlers will not have to worry about bumping motorcycles on their way through, he said.
“We will have to have staff and volunteers out on Main Street most of the morning to prevent parking. It is an unusual request from what has been happening in past years,” Cole said.
Other notable closures include closing Harley-Davidson Way four times during Rally week. Once for opening ceremonies from Main to Lazelle streets to park the Clydesdales.
Harley-Davidson Way will also be closed from 2-4 p.m. on Aug. 10 for military day at the Rally. It also will be closed for the Harley-Davidson Stunt team on Aug. 11, and again on Aug. 14 for closing ceremonies.
This will be the first-ever closing ceremony for the Rally. This year the city plans to have Cole Freeman (a motorcycle jumper) jumping over Main Street - scheduled at 2 p.m. along with a VIP party from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Harley-Davidson Rally Point.
Following are the closures:
• Street closures will begin on Aug. 6, at 2 a.m. and will reopen at 2 a.m. Aug. 15. Harley-Davidson Way will continue to be open from Sherman to Lazelle Street, except for the times listed below. There would be no parking on H-D Way during those times.
• A portion of First Street and Third Street from Sherman Street to the alley will be open to vehicle traffic. From the alley north to Main Street and from Main Street to Lazelle Street will be closed to all traffic with the exception of motorcycle traffic from 2 a.m. on Aug. 6, to 2 a.m. on Aug. 15, 2021, and for motorcycle parking. A 12-foot fire lane for emergency vehicles will be maintained throughout the closed area.
• The portion of Sherman Street from Harley-Davidson Way east to the end of City Hall on both sides of the street will be closed to all except for VIP Pass Holders from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. from Friday, Aug. 6, through Saturday, Aug. 14.
• Kinship Road will be open to vehicle traffic with motorcycle only parking on the west side. Motorcycle only parking be allowed on one side of Williams behind the Sturgis Community Center only and be opened up to car and motorcycle parking on the south side of Williams Street.
• There will be a stop light at 11th Street and Lazelle again this year.
The portion of the west bound lane of Main Street exiting out onto Lazelle Street will be closed. Eastbound traffic from Lazelle onto Main will remain open.
• Two-way traffic on the portion of Main Street from 11th Street to Lazelle will stay open for traffic to enter the businesses along this portion of Main Street.
Parking along this section of Main Street will be restricted to motorcycle only on the south side of Main Street which fronts the business property at 2120 Main Street.
• The portion of 6th Street from Lazelle Street to the alley will be closed Aug. 7 for a bike show.
• Harley-Davidson Way will be shut down on Aug. 10 from 2-4 p.m. The intersection of Harley-Davidson Way and Main Street will be shut down for 10 minutes Aug. 10 from 2:55-3:05 p.m. during the B-l flyover.
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