SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — It appears the rainy weather put a damper on the first three days of attendance at the annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally.
The South Dakota Department of Transportation does vehicle counts at nine entry points into the rally. The counts started on Friday, Aug. 4, the first day of the rally. The DOT will continue through the end of the rally. The city of Sturgis uses the vehicle count, analysis of photos and other data to determine the rally attendance each year.
The opening day count was 45,652. That’s down 13% from the five-year average. The count was 56,855 in 2022.
In the past 10 years, the vehicle count has increased on Saturday, Sunday and Monday. This year’s rally is from Aug. 4-13.
The count for 2023 dropped to 38,126 on Saturday but picked up to 60,586 vehicles on Sunday.
Saturday’s count was down 37.3% from the five-year average. Sunday’s count was up 4.4% from the five-year average.
The three-day total count for 2023 is 144,364, which is more than 25,000 less than the five-year average of 171,606.
The rally count could make up the difference to the five-year average on Monday and Tuesday.
Last year, the Monday count was 62,050, which was higher than the five-year average of 60,053. The count was 58,610 on Tuesday in 2022. The five-year average is 57,672.
After the Tuesday of rally week, the count drops off.
The lowest daily count was 17,812 in 2017. The highest daily count was 96,409 in 2015 which was the 75th anniversary of the rally. The event set an attendance record that year.