Sturgis Rally may see open containers this year
STURGIS, S.D. (KOTA) - The Sturgis Rally is the largest event in South Dakota and thousands of bike enthusiasts enjoy street vendors, concerts, and other festivities…but one thing the 10-day festival lacks is open containers.
For years, there’s been talk about changing the rule, but it’s remained in place…for now.
The City of Sturgis is in the process of developing a proactive plan that would allow rally-goers to stroll down the streets of Sturgis, beverages in hand.
“When we look at the open container issue we’ve been on kind of both sides of the at issue and I don’t think we necessarily look at it as a short-term benefit to the bars, they’re full anyway, but we think it’s a positive thing for downtown overall,” said Dean Kinney.
Kinney owns multiple Sturgis businesses and believes open containers will encourage bikers to spend more time in the non-bar areas of downtown Sturgis.
“Just, in general, it would promote a more friendly atmosphere and a place where we’re really telling the public ‘hey we want you to be into our town and we want you to spend some time here and we don’t think you taking your beer around you while you shop is going to create pandemonium’.”
Sturgis has some open container events throughout the year, but not during the Rally.
Kinney believes it’s important to have law enforcement on board with the plan and points to Deadwood as an example of a town that has multiple open container events throughout the year with few issues.
Deadwood’s chamber of commerce uses these events as fundraisers and Kinney says Sturgis is looking into a similar idea.
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