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250,000 head to Sturgis, stopped at tribal checkpoints

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Town Crier “Briefs from the Region” (1) – 8/10/20

The 10-day Sturgis Motorcycle Rally is marking its 80th-anniversary this year, while not letting COVID-19 stand in its way. The event brings in nearly $800 million to South Dakota’s economy each year and while they have fared better than most states, cases have risen in recent weeks as hotspots move into the midwest. Driven by these fears, the Cheyenne River Sioux are refusing to allow bikers through their lands and other reservations in the region, including the Oglala Sioux, are also turning away bikers that attempt routes to Sturgis, passing through sovereign land. On Friday the Guardian reported that the crowd seemed larger than previous years and that no one in attendance was adhering to social distancing guidelines. “I’ve not seen one single person wearing a mask,” said Jessica Christian, a bartender working at the event. “It’s just pretty much the mentality that, ‘If I get it, I get it.’”

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