SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — Crowds of bikers are rumbling their way towards western South Dakota, raising fears that COVID-19 infections will be unleashed among the 700,000 people expected to show up at the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally.

The rally started Friday, August 7, 2021. It's become a haven for those eager to escape coronavirus precautions. Last year, the rally hardly slowed down, with roughly 460,000 people attending.

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Masks were mostly ditched as bikers crowded into bars, tattoo parlors and rock shows, offering a lesson in how massive gatherings could spread waves of the virus across the country.

This year's rally is expected to be even bigger, despite concerns about the virus’ highly contagious delta variant.

Scenes From the 80th Annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally Aug 7, 2020 – Aug 16, 2020