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Sturgis motorcycle rally is revving up in South Dakota and is likely to be bigger than last year, despite delta variant’s prevalence

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — Crowds of bikers are rumbling their way toward South Dakota’s Black Hills this week, raising fears that COVID-19 infections will be unleashed among the 700,000 people expected to show up at the Sturgis motorcycle rally.

The rally, which starts Friday, has become a haven for those eager to escape coronavirus precautions. Last year, the rally hardly slowed down, with roughly 460,000 people attending. Masks were mostly ditched as bikers crowded into bars, tattoo parlors and rock shows, offering a lesson in how massive gatherings could spread waves of the virus across the country.

From the archives (September 2020): Sturgis motorcycle rally in South Dakota in August linked to more than 250,000 coronavirus cases, study finds

This year — the 81st iteration of the rally — is expected to be even bigger, drawing people from around the U.S. and beyond, despite concerns about the virus’ highly

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