Sturgis North circles back to Shuswap

'Location is key. It's going to be somewhere in the Shuswap valley'

Mike Youds / Kamloops Daily News
November 9, 2012 01:00 AM

The first Sturgis North festival in Salmon Arm drew as many as 40,000 bikers to the Shuswap in 2011.

The popular Sturgis North heads back to the Shuswap and will likely be held closer to Kamloops next summer.

Joan Hansen, president of the Sturgis North Annual All Make Motorcycle Jamboree and Music Festival, and Neskonlith Chief Judy Wilson jointly announced that the third annual event will be hosted by Neskonlith First Nation.

The band hosted Sturgis North in its first year, when the five-day motorcycle rally and music festival was held on the Neskonlith reserve and the civic fairgrounds in Salmon Arm, but the band has two other reserves centred around Chase.

Wilson said on Friday that they have yet to decide on a new location, but are looking at alternatives to Salmon Arm.

"We're looking at a place to have the infrastructure at a reasonable cost," she said. "Location is key. It's going to be somewhere in the Shuswap valley."

Wilson said she wasn't aware of any difficulties with the event when it was hosted last summer at the MotoPlex Speedway and Event Park in Spallumcheen near Vernon.

"If they had the same set-up as we had in 2011, all local authorities were involved," she said of the event's planning. "It does bring a lot of business into town."

Some festival-goers complained of a heavy-handed police presence and a disappointing turnout.

The event will take place in August next year rather than July as in the past.

Sturgis North is named after its famous and much larger cousin, the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. As many as half a million people flock to the rally each August in Sturgis, S.D.

Organizers here are looking at ways of reducing their costs, Wilson added. The inaugural festival cost $2.6 million, while the 2012 event came in at less than a third of that expense.

They're also looking for a waterfront location, believing that they lost some of their attendance last summer as festival-goers headed for nearby lakes.

Hansen has promised to confirm festival details within the next few weeks.

© Copyright 2015 Kamloops Daily News

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