Sturgis Rally and Mardis Gras Celebration Comparison
The 2013 edition of the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally is in the rear-view mirror. The attendance figures are still being compiled, but it’s safe to say that a crowd of 400,000 attended the event.
If you wonder whether the binge of bikes is the kind of flavor you savor, sample some of the crime numbers compiled by the South Dakota Highway Patrol. Over the rally period, there were 255 DUI arrests, 275 drug arrests and 1535 total citations issued from August 3 through August 10.
Taking those numbers a bit further and comparing them to a week in a city like Des Moines approaches apples to oranges territory. There is an established population with a consistent base. Sturgis has a huge influx over a week plus of time and the people who come plan to party.
Matching up better would be New Orleans. Though larger in population year-round, the annual Mardi Gras celebration attracts thousands of revelers. Remember that New Orleans is also a city that is more crime-ridden than the average metro area. According to the Orleans Parish Sheriff’s Office between January 25 and February 12 of this year, 1681 arrests were made. The Carnival season is that long in NOLA plus the Super Bowl was played there this year as well.
It’s possible that a younger crowd takes to the French Quarter and a more seasoned crew view the Black Hills. Still the hangover probably feels quite the same in August as it does in February.