We started going to the Sturgis Mustang Rally in 2007 and haven’t missed a year since. As some of the rallies go this one is not the oldest but certainly one of the best if not the best rally in the country. This year the rally starts on September 1st and runs to September 5th.
I’m just guessing in round numbers but I believe in 2007 there was about 500-600 cars last year (2010) I think it was more like 1,000 cars. I have been to lots of car shows and rallies in my time and I’d have to say that this is one of the best organized events I have ever been to. From the check in to the final dinner it is well attended and well organized. Most people have heard of Sturgis because of bike week which is just two weeks earlier by the way. Lots of people have asked me how it compares to bike week and I just tell them it is like bike week except there is no fights, no gangs, not nearly as many drunks and no topless girls. So, for the most parts it is very family friendly. We did got on the bar crawl the last two years and they have lots of drinking games but for the most parts everyone is very well behaved.
I noticed that registration this year is at the Thunderdome, in previous years it has been held downtown. Also, I noticed that they have added a burnout competition which is at the Thunderdome from 6-9 on Friday. Guess I’ll throw some old tires on my trailer before I go this year.
The highlight of the rally for me is the poker run tour. They take us through some of the prettiest areas in the country. I’ll warn you it is pretty long, I forget how far it was last year but I want to say it was over 100 miles. But they had some great stops set up, I wish I could remember the name of the little gas station gift shop. It is out in the middle of nowhere but tons of fun.
I’m not a big gambler but it is really fun to go up to Deadwood in the evenings and put some pennies in the slots (I did win $250.00 last year though). The casinos are clean and nice and the town is fun just to walk around.
They have an autocross that runs several times over the weekend, it looks like a lot of fun but frankly I’m way to anal to work my car that hard. On Saturday night they do open up the 1/8 mile drag strip and let you run down it. We haven’t done that in the past but if all goes we’ll try it this year.
The rally is getting more and more popular so it is very important that you get hotel reservations early! We made ours almost a year early this time. If you try and wait for the last second you’ll be camping out.
In short as a Mustang fanatic I would highly recommend going to Sturgis! Get your reservations early, go on the poker run, take the kids, take 50 bucks to blow in the slot machines and do the bar crawl (but don’t plan on beating me in beer pong).
Oh and shake the hand and say thank you to one of the volunteers who put this on every year!