Once again, they came by the hundreds of thousands to the Black Hills of South Dakota for the premier motorcycle event on the planet - the Sturgis Rally.

The 83rd annual event. which just wrapped up, saw better than 450,000 vehicles pass through during the ten days of the rally, according to the South Dakota Department of Transportation

And while that number (458,161) is impressive, it does represent a downturn from crowds of the recent past.

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Attendance Down at 2023 Sturgis Motorcycle Rally

Overall, the 2023 figures were down a little more than 40,000 vehicles from the five-year average of 498,282 vehicles. That's down slightly more than eight percent.

So what's to blame for the drop in attendance at Sturgis?

The online news site The Messenger says there are two main factors to blame:

'The primary culprit for the declining attendance is that the usual attendees are simply getting older and younger folks are not showing up at the same rate. But weather also may have played a factor.

The average high temperature was 81°F, making it the eighth-coolest rally on record. The lowest temperature year was 1999 when the average high was 78.7°F. Rainfall totaled 1.55 inches this year, though that only made it the 16th wettest year on record.'

READ MORE: Budweiser Tent At Sturgis Last Week Was Completely Empty

Here is the day-by-day breakdown of the numbers compared to the five-year average:

  • Friday, August 4: 45,652 vehicles (-13.4%)
  • Saturday, August 5: 38,126 vehicles (-37.3%)
  • Sunday, August 6: 60,586 vehicles (+4.4%)
  • Monday, August 7: 50,487 vehicles (-16.9%)
  • Tuesday, August 8: 55,848 vehicles (-4.2%)
  • Wednesday, August 9: 56,444 vehicles (+1.4%)
  • Thursday, August 10: 52,195 vehicles (+3.7%)
  • Friday, August 11: 45,661 vehicles (+0.4%)
  • Saturday, August 12: 33,278 vehicles (-4.5%)
  • Sunday, August 13: 19,884 vehicles (-6.5%)

Crime and Crashes at Sturgis

And while the SDOT was monitoring traffic, the  South Dakota Highway Patrol was dealing with the crime and crash figures from the rally.

Overall there were 11 fatalities in the area surrounding the event.

The other numbers:

  • Injury accidents: 64 (up from 50 last year)
  • Drunken-driving arrests: 120 (down from 148 last year)
  • Drug arrests: 401 (up from 251 last year)
  • Total citations: 1,479 (up from 1,430 last year)
  • Total warnings: 4,296 (down from 5,288 last year)
  • Cash seized: $2,005 (down from $4,335 last year)

From Frybread to Pheasants - Here are South Dakota's Official State Things

Every state in our nation has chosen things that represent the state in one way or another to be official state things. Like a flower, or animal. South Dakota is no different.

The Mount Rushmore has a state flower. But did you know we also have a state tree and a state fish? Yes, we even have a state code.

Here is what we have so far in Wyoming. Thanks to the South Dakota Secretary of State's Office for the info:

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South Dakota is loaded with small towns in every corner of the state. But where are the smallest towns in the Mount Rushmore state? According to the latest census data, here are the ten smallest towns in all of South Dakota.