Attendance for the first 3 days of the 82nd Sturgis Motorcycle Rally is solidly ahead of the 5-year average, but below last year – which was the second-highest in the last 20 years.
The South Dakota Dept of Transportation has counters at multiple locations coming into the city that are used to judge attendance.
The 3-day total (Fri-Sun) from those counters was 179,726 vehicles – 12,532 higher than the average but 8,853 fewer than last year.
Friday’s total was 56,855 or 11.4% over the average and 1,529 more than last year, but Saturday’s 62,199 was 5,281 lower than a year ago – although it was up 5.5% from the average. Sunday had 60,672 – 6.8% over the average but down 5,099 from 2021.
There’s a focus on veterans at the Rally today with the 22nd annual Veterans Recognition Ceremony this afternoon featuring a Flyover by a B-1B Lancer bomber from Ellsworth Air Force Base.
Before that, there’s a motorcycle ride from the South Dakota Air and Space Museum at Ellsworth to Sturgis just ahead of the 2:00 ceremony.
The ceremony begins with remarks by the mayor, a prayer, and an honor guard with the Flyover by the B-1 from the 28th Bomb Wing at Ellsworth scheduled to pass overhead sometime between 2:50 and 3:10/