Custer Cruisin’ starts Friday

Ron Burtz

Thousands of two-wheelers are making their way toward the Black Hills today in advance of the 82nd annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally which starts on Friday and runs through Aug. 14. When they arrive, the town of Custer will be ready for them with special Custer Cruisin' events planned, bike-themed street vendors and of course restaurants and hotels ready to feed and board the riders.
As usual, a half block of 6th Street will be blocked off for vendor booths from Mt. Rushmore Road south. City planning technician Kim Conwell said the street will be closed a day early this year (on Wednesday) to allow time for the vendors to set up their booths. The vendors will begin setting up Thursday morning and can begin selling Thursday afternoon. The booths will close down on the 14th.
Conwell says V-Twin Company of Daytona Beach, Fla. will take up most of the available space with its collection of biker clothing and accessories. Other booths will include Mt. View Baptist Church of Custer which will be giving away free water and lemonade, gospel tracts and posting its large map on which visitors can place pins locating their hometowns.
Also back this year is Buckskin to Buffalo, a booth that offers items made from all kinds of hides, such as boots and dream catchers. Conwell said one of her favorite items at the booth last year was a pair of boots made from skunk skins.
Royal Patches is also returning with its inventory of thousands of patches which can be sewn on right there in the booth.
A new vendor on the street this year will be The U.S. Flagpole Guy which offers an assortment of flags and other patriotic items.
On Tuesday Mayor Bob Brown will preside over the annual Mayor's Ride poker run. Registration will be from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Mt. Rushmore Brewery and riders will meet at the Veterans Memorial on Washington Street. Following a short speech by the mayor, the riders will depart at 1 p.m. for a ride that will take them through Custer State Park and through the tunnels and over the pigtail bridges of Iron Mountain Road to Keystone and then back to Custer for dinner at Mt. Rushmore Brewery.
There, cash prizes will be awarded for the high hand, second high hand and lowest hand. The cost of registration is $30 for each driver and $25 for each passenger. Each participant will receive a T-shirt, Custer Cash and dinner on the deck.
Meanwhile, the annual Veterans Appreciation Ride sponsored by the VFW has been canceled for this year.

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