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Significant Mileposts for the Sturgis Rally

1936
* Clarence “Pappy” Hoel purchases Indian Motorcycle franchise in Sturgis
* The Jackpine Gypsies Motorcycle Club was formed.

1938
* The first Black Hills Motor Classic was held in Sturgis on August 14th. A race of 9 participants and a small audience began the tradition we know as The Sturgis Rally.

1942 and 1943
* Rally did not take place due to WW II gas rationing.

1949
* Sturgis Main Street is first blocked off for an awards ceremony.

1961
* Jackpine Gypsies introduce the Hill Climb and Motocross races.

1963
* Classic expands to a 3-day event.

1964
* One block of Main Street is closed for motorcycle parking only during the Classic.

1965
* The Classic expands to a 5-day event
* Estimated Attendance for the 25th Rally: 2,500

1974
* The first vendor sets up in the Sturgis Auditorium.

1975
* The Classic becomes a 7-day event.

1979
* The City of Sturgis begins licensing vendors (9 vendors licensed).

1981
* Estimated Attendance for the 41st Classic: 30,000

1983
* City Park is closed to camping due to fire outbreaks. 1988
* 117 vendors licensed in the City of Sturgis.

1989
* “Pappy” Hoel passes away at the age of 85.

1990
* Estimated Attendance for the 50th Classic: 400,000
* Number of Vendors: 243
* Four blocks of Main Street closed for motorcycle parking only.

1992
* The Black Hills Motor Classic renamed the Sturgis Rally and Races.

1999
* Estimated Attendance for the 59th Rally: 325,000

2000
* Estimated Attendance for the 60th Rally: 625,000
* Number of vendors: 943

2003
* The official name of event changed to the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally.
* Estimated Attendance for the 63rd Rally: 450,000
* Number of vendors: 848

2005
* 65th Anniversary of the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally

Sturgis Motorcycle Rally is a major event in the Black Hills today.


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