The 25th Annual Rally (1965) was the first Official 5-day event.
The 35th Annual Rally (1975) was expanded to its 7-day format.
The 47th Annual Rally (1987), the BuffaloChip started hosting events for a 10-day Rally starting on prior Friday.
The 'formula' is/was: 'The Rally starts on the First Monday AFTER the First Full Weekend in August.'
In 2016, Sturgis city officials changed their rally dates to: 'The First Friday in August and runs for 10 days.'
But have reverted back to the old formula because of tourism pressures.
2020 Sturgis Rally Date Change
Sturgis, SD (June 26, 2019) – The City of Sturgis yesterday sent a letter and changed its website to reflect a new date it set for the beginning of the 2020 Sturgis Rally within the City. It had in late 2016 or early 2017 changed by ordinance the way it determined when the City of Sturgis would recognize the beginning date of the motorcycle rally. Internet and other publications were not changed and many proceeded with plans based upon the date the motorcycle rally would have commenced under the decades-old formula.
The City’s website now shows the desired commencement date of the 2020 motorcycle rally in the City of Sturgis to be Friday, August 7, 2020. This change from the date that had universally been announced is unfortunately causing confusion within the motorcycle industry and its consumer base, as well as for campgrounds, hotels, motels and individuals who’ve rented their homes for the traditional rally dates instead of the new dates.
The Sturgis Buffalo Chip will be hosting motorcycle and other Sturgis Motorcycle Rally tourists throughout the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally of 2020, as always. The Sturgis Buffalo Chip’s Motorcycle and Music Festival will again feature performances by nationally prominent entertainers on Friday, August 7, 2020 and days following. BuffaloChip Announcement