Sturgis Motorcycle Rally and open containers

Open containers allowed with purchase of cup and wristband.
Open containers allowed with purchase of cup and wristband.(KOTA)
Published: May. 20, 2021 at 5:11 PM MDT|Updated: May. 20, 2021 at 5:13 PM MDT
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) - The Sturgis Rally is a few months out, and they’re testing the water with open containers.

The environment should benefit the event altogether, says Sturgis’s City Manager, Daniel Ainslie.

“Individuals will be able to come and purchase one of the cups and also provide ID’s, so that they can then get banded. Then, at that point, they can have a malt beverage or wine on the sidewalks and go from venue to venue without having to complete a drink at a particular venue, and then leave to go to another one. So,” says Ainslie, “it should be a more relaxed atmosphere for the people.”

The city has done numerous open container events in the past, just not for the entire duration of the rally.

Some worry it might get out of hand.

“If it does get out of control,” says Ainslie, “then we’re able to cancel open container. So, there are some checkpoints to make sure that if anything does go awry, we’re able to stop it.”

It’s been on the radar for the community for many years. National events often feature open container, even Deadwood.

All of the proceeds from the cups will go to Sturgis Rally Charities and directly help the community. After some trademark issues, Marsha Johnson, the President of Sturgis Rally Charities, says the organization could use some addition help.

“So, we’re scrambling now. Where we once had upwards to ninety thousand dollars a year to give away to the various charities around here, we now have, if we’re lucky, twenty eight thousand dollars, says Johnson.”

The charities include the Arts Center, Kiwanis Food Pantry, Crisis Center, School Projects and many more.

With the current lack of funding, “the City has been trying along with us, to try and think of ways to come up with the funding that we no longer have,” says Johnson.

Many Sturgis citizens are concerned that the open containers will escalate the already rowdy rally that’s smack dab in the middle of the small Midwestern town.

This is the first year Sturgis is giving it a go.

“I would feel pretty confident that it won’t cause a significant escalation, but if it does we will not be allowing open container. We are very hopeful. Looking at our past experience as a community,” says Ainslie, “as well as the experience in other major events throughout the U.S. that have open container, we don’t really see significant issues arising from it.”

Interested people will not be allowed to freely carry around mix drinks, only beer and wine.

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