COVID-19 has hit the moto show and live event industry especially hard over the last 10 months, and while it didn’t stop the Sturgis 2020 Rally from happening, the latest resurgence of the pandemic has had Daytona Bike Week’s organizers fearing they might have to pull the plug on the 2021 rally. Bike Week is always a huge economic driver for the region, and with this year being the 80th anniversary, businesses were especially looking forward to the needed financial boost. And now they’ve got some hope; last week the Daytona Beach City Commission endorsed plans for the annual bike rally.
On January 20, the city decided to allow for permit and rally business applications for 2021 Daytona Bike Week. Some of the main drivers in their decision were the fact that this year marks the 80th anniversary of the Daytona rally, and local bars and restaurants volunteered to reduce their occupancy by 40 percent; with that the commissioners felt comfortable enough to give a thumbs-up to the event despite lingering concerns over the pandemic. This year’s big two-wheel bash on the beach will also run its usual 10-day course, unfolding from March 5 to March 14. But there will be rules and restrictions in place this year to remind out-of-towners that COVID-19 is a real thing with deadly consequences; according to the Daytona Beach News-Journal, “…city commissioners agreed to issue the permits that allow businesses to temporarily do things outside they normally can’t. But commissioners only agreed to that in exchange for a promise from bars, restaurants, and shops to limit indoor occupancy to 60 percent during the event.…” There will also be enhanced sanitizing measures and distancing arrangements to try to keep people safer.
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Given the fact that lots of the festivities during Bike Week take place outside, it looks likely that some of the usual shenanigans will unfold in a familiar overall form, though with some details tweaked. For example, tickets are already on sale for the Daytona Supercross race on March 6, and it seems like fans will be allowed in, but with restrictions and social distancing measures in place. The Daytona 200 has also gotten the green light and is scheduled for March 13 at the Speedway. There’s a fairly robust slate of other activities like bike shows, swap meets, and more racing already on the calendar as well, with additional events sure to follow.
So if you go, space it out, mask up, and stay safe. For the event calendar, check out: officialbikeweek.com/Bike-Week-Calendar/.