- Associated Press - Tuesday, July 21, 2015

YANKTON, S.D. (AP) - The eastern South Dakota city of Yankton is trying to capitalize on the 75th anniversary of the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in the western Black Hills by holding its own celebration.

The inaugural Rock ‘N’ Rumble event is Aug. 1, two days before the start of the Sturgis rally from Aug. 3-9. It will include a parade, a barbecue and musical entertainment.

“We want to get (bikers) off the interstate and taking the southernmost route to the (Black) Hills,” Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Carmen Schramm told the Daily Press & Dakotan newspaper (https://bit.ly/1CT3Ql6 ). “It’s a beautiful drive, and we hope that frees them up for some of the recognition of what is happening all over the state until they get to Sturgis.”

An estimated 442,000 people attended last year’s rally, and officials are expecting more bikers than ever for this year’s landmark rally. State Tourism Secretary Jim Hagen said the Yankton event is a good way to showcase eastern South Dakota to bikers on their way west.

“It’s so important that we create local events,” he said. “We’ll have thousands of bikers who are coming from the east and who want to travel off the beaten path. We want to showcase all they can do.”

The city has paid $5,000 to market the event, which Convention and Visitors Bureau Director Stephanie Moser said has been promoted to motorcycle dealerships and groups. More than 400 people have indicated on a Facebook page that they plan to attend.

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Information from: Yankton Press and Dakotan, https://www.yankton.net/

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