From the Rapid City Journal: The city of Sturgis hosted a horse racetrack near where the present day Woodle Field is situated. But in 1904, the track flooded. Following that, a new half-mile horse track sprung up on a hill a little southwest of downtown Sturgis. City and county officials upgraded the track, added grandstands and stables and finished by installing fence around the entire property. The first celebration within this new facility was the horse races and celebration held July 3-5, 1911. Then, in 1936, a small motorcycle club formed in Sturgis dedicated simply to riding and racing. They started by cleaning up the fairgrounds and began staging motorcycle Field Days using the old track. In 1937, they still did all of the trick events normally done during a motorcycle Field Day, but also successfully added speed racing on the half-mile track to their event, which gained the notice of both the local merchants and the greater racing community. After some encouragement, agreements were made setting up 1938 to be the birth year of the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. Racing events were held during August and the town of Sturgis staged fair like events downtown in support.
History of Sturgis Fairgrounds
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