South Dakota’s Sturgis rally roars back as delta rising

STURGIS, S.D. (AP) – The Black Hills of South Dakota are roaring with motorcycles and crowds Friday as the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally starts. The annual rally returns just as coronavirus cases in the state are rising with the more contagious delta variant.

Organizers say they expected at least 700,000 people to show up during the 10-day event. Even on Thursday, downtown Sturgis was clogged with Harleys, rallygoers crowded shoulder-to-shoulder at bars and rock shows, and masks were nowhere in sight.

Public health experts worry the rally will again be a vehicle to spread coronavirus infections.

Hundreds of rallygoers were infected last year, spreading the virus to other communities.

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