Despite months of opposition, the Sturgis North rally ran last weekend in Salmon Arm, B.C., and everything appears to have gone smoothly.
The rally had an uphill battle from the very beginning, with local groups worrying the incoming bikers would disrupt their peace and quiet and bring a third-world famine (we’re only slightly stretching that last one).
It also didn’t help matters when the original U.S.-based Sturgis rally started getting protective over their festival’s name and suing other groups for using it. The Salmon Arm festival didn’t seem to get hassled over that, though, which is pretty odd – maybe the the U.S. rally is unaware of their existence, for now (highly possible), or maybe there’s been some sort of deal struck. Or maybe that’s coming next year.
In any case, the festival seemed to go off without any major hitches. Despite warnings of outlaw motorcycle gangs and public worries that seemed to anticipate a Hollister-style riot, the weekend boiled down to a few thousand riders showing up and spending a lot of money.
Those results are good enough for many involved. Supposedly organizers are going to put on another festival next year, and vendors and attendees from this year are already booking accommodations.