Despite concerns about COVID-19, the largest motor show in the US state of South Dakota will be held with minor modifications, probably attracting hundreds of thousands of rockers in the small town of Sturgess and the surrounding area in the Black Hills.
The event starts this Friday, informs Huffpost.
The 80th edition of the Sturgis Motor Show, which runs through Aug. 16, is “an icon of American freedom and independence,” according to a press release on the event’s website, announcing its “modified” version this year.
“After considering various options, the municipal council decided to start preparing for the large influx of tourists and participants who will come, with a focus on the safety of our residents,” the press release said.
“Visitors will be asked to respect the concerns of the local community by practicing social distancing and taking personal responsibility for their health, following the guidelines of the health authorities.”
The number of visitors to the motor show is usually around 500,000, but given the coronavirus pandemic, it is expected to be around 250,000 this year, the Rapid City Journal reported in June. The town of Sturgis itself has a population of just over 7,200 people.
“The city knew that people would come, no matter what happened, and we had to be prepared. That’s why we changed our plans a bit and did everything we could to keep people’s health, “said Christina Steele, a spokeswoman for The Rapid City Journal, referring to a vote in the town, according to which 60% of residents are against canceling the event.