Updated Feb. 22
Sturgis North will be rolling back into Sicamous this summer, for not one, but two events.
Though Sturgis has moved the base location of its second annual motorcycle rally and music festival from Salmon Arm to the MotoPlex Speedway and Event Park in Spallumcheen, Sicamous will once again have an opportunity to host the Sturgis burnout competition during the event, slated for July 18-22.
But plans are also in the works for Sicamous to host something of a teaser event for the rally, a cabaret/concert, slated for May 26 at the Sicamous and District Recreation Centre.
“The council has supported, in principle, the concept of having a large cabaret in the rec centre… and we have big bands that are on the table to come to that event,” says Sicamous Mayor Darrell Trouton.
Confirmed to play Sturgis in July are The Guess Who, The Stampeders, Nick Gilder, Sweeney Todd and the Edgar Winter Band. The mayor could not say what band or bands might be coming to Sicamous in May. Recreation centre manager Wayne March didn’t either, though he did express his pleasure in seeing the arena utilized for such an event.
“It will be good for the rec centre and the community,” says March. “You’ve got to remember, this is a community building… And bringing in bands from Sturgis North is one more item people can see.”
Trouton says Sturgis will help promote the May event, but it will be up to Sicamous to run it. He adds it will take place on the same weekend as a ladies fastball tournament at Finlayson Park.
“So the ball diamonds will be full, the arena will be full, which will help fill up the community,” says Trouton. “In saying that, we’re working with all the non-profit organizations and groups so they will have a piece of that, so it helps stimulate the economy within the community for the non-profit groups.
“It’s a matter of the whole community pulling together to put on big events like this.”
As to who exactly will be doing all the organizing for the Sturgis events, Trouton says council is looking at a “concept where the district will support someone to work at arms length, to help promote events like this and make sure they move forward with a positive, fair attitude.”
Security was an issue at last year’s burnout event. Fencing around the burnout area was inadequate and security, provided by the fire department, was called away when an accident occurred on the Bruhn Bridge. Trouton says it was a learning experience for the community, and that more appropriate arrangements will be made.
“You learn from that and you move forward,” says Trouton.
The mayor says he was impressed with what he saw from Sturgis last year, not just in Sicamous but in Salmon Arm, and he sees only opportunity in the integration of the Houseboat Capital of Canada with the hottest motorcycle rally, music festival and trade show in the country.
“If you were down at the fairgrounds last year when they had Sturgis there, I would say 90 per cent of the bikers in today’s society are, let’s face, it they’re the wannabe bikers, people who buy these expensive toys… they’re out on the open road and enjoying the week,” says Trouton. “That’s all they want, a holiday. It’s a fun atmosphere.
“You saw it when all these bikes rolled into Sicamous, there were all these guys all dressed up in leathers, some of them had their little kids with them, and it was real cool to see.”
The mayor said he is interested in camping options that would help keep Sturgis North patrons in the community.
Tickets for the Sturgis North Rally are already on sale, and are available at www.sturgisnorth.com.