Harley-Davidson and the city of Sturgis traded-in gilded shovels and ceremonial hard hats for revving motorcycles and open-face helmets to break ground, or more accurately, tear it up to start construction of The Harley-Davidson Rally Point, the city’s new permanent year-round space for riders.
“Sturgis is a mecca for riders around the world. The Harley-Davidson Rally Point establishes a new site in downtown Sturgis for people to gather year round,” said Bill Davidson, great-grandson of Harley-Davidson founder William A. Davidson and vice president of the Harley-Davidson Museum. “The renaming of 2nd Street to Harley-Davidson Way honors the legacy of our company’s founders along with all the extraordinary men and women who ride our motorcycles.”
Building on the 75-year agreement that makes Harley-Davidson the rally’s official motorcycle, The Rally Point – at the corner of Main Street and Harley-Davidson Way – will include a stage for events, concerts and weddings. An elevated area for riders to take pictures on their motorcycles with the iconic Sturgis sign as the backdrop is also part of the plan.
Harley-Davidson fans across the country suggested dozens of names for the new Main Street presence. The Rally Point – an enduring term for a ride-starting meeting place – rose to the top. Riders on three Harley-Davidson motorcycles: a 1978 Super Glide with a Shovelhead engine, a 2015 Street 750, and a Project LiveWire motorcycle broke ground on the new space, which will be open in time for the 75th Sturgis Motorcycle Rally.
Officials from Sturgis and employees from Harley-Davidson worked with FourFront Design, Inc. in Rapid City to develop the final design and renderings. Eirik Heikes with FourFront Design, Inc. is the principle landscape architect and Jessica Hawn lead planner.
“Breaking ground on The Rally Point solidifies Harley-Davidson’s presence in Sturgis,” said Sturgis Mayor Mark Carstensen. “The Rally Point will be a hub for riders during the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally and it will serve as a gathering point for the citizens of Sturgis throughout the year.”
To ensure the new multi-purpose space builds on the legacy of the brand and is pure Harley-Davidson, 74 bricks from the company’s Milwaukee headquarters, a building that once housed the company’s factory dating back more than 100 years, and one brick from the Harley-Davidson Museum will be integrated into The Rally Point’s final construction.
As part of the ceremonial groundbreaking, the bricks traveled 900 miles from Milwaukee on Harley-Davidson motorcycles and were delivered to Mayor Carstensen by members of the Harley Owners Group. Carey Hart, motocross star and 2015 Grand Marshall of the Sturgis City of Riders Mayor’s Ride, received the bricks with Mayor Carstensen.
The 75th Sturgis Motorcycle Rally starts Aug. 1, 2015. For more info: www.h-d.com/sturgis.
To view the Rally Point from an aerial perspective: