Bill Converse had never attended the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally before, but this year he drove 29 hours from Georgia to sell his conservative pro-second amendment novelty T-shirts at the famous annual South Dakota event.
The 10-day rally brought hundreds of thousands of bikers to the small city of Sturgis, in the middle of a pandemic. While more than half of the local residents wanted the event to be canceled, city officials knew people would show up anyway and did their best to prepare.
Since Friday, visitors have packed into bars, used communal Slip n Slides, and — for the most part — flouted advice from local officials to wear masks.
Between the event kickoff Friday and early Monday morning, there were nearly 90 drug arrests and 286 total citations within city limits, according to statistics provided by the South Dakota state highway patrol.