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Klock's excitement drives Pre-Sturgis Party's popularity

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Hundreds of motorcycle enthusiasts filled the streets to check out classic cars and motorcycles on Main Street Aug. 2, 2018 for the Palace City Pre-Sturgis Party. (Sam Fosness / Republic)
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Eleven years ago, Brian Klock began hosting a small gathering of motorcycle enthusiasts en route to the Sturgis Bike Rally in front of his Klock Werks shop on Kimball Street.

Little did he know that gathering would blossom into an event that welcomed roughly 5,000 people when he decided to team up with the city of Mitchell last year to host the inaugural Palace City Pre-Sturgis Party in front of the Corn Palace. With the second event taking place from 5 to 10 p.m. today on North Main Street from Fourth to Seventh avenues, Klock is excited for this year’s lineup of scheduled events.

“We wanted to start showing off the city of Mitchell, and this event doesn't happen without the community coming together,” said Klock, the owner of Klock Werks, which makes custom motorcycle parts, including windshields and fairings. "It's amazing seeing how much support this event has had not only in Mitchell, but in surrounding communities and states across the nation."

Klock emphasized the event is not intended to take any hype away from the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally; rather, it’s designed to be a gateway to the Sturgis Rally. Klock said he’s proud to help unite the community around a shared passion for motorcyclists.

"I wanted this to be the welcoming stop before bikers head west to the rally. This event is a great way to unite everyone who comes from all over the country to celebrate biking culture," Klock said. “This isn't about promoting Klock Werks, it's about promoting the community and the locals."

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A familiar face at today’s event will be motorcycle daredevil Cole Freeman, who had spectators on the edge of their seats last year as he broke the record for clearing the longest jump with a 817-pound Harley-Davidson Road Glide.

After narrowly completing the daring motorcycle stunt, clearing a 50-foot jump in front of the Corn Palace, Freeman will be back to take on a new challenge. To keep the suspense, Klock said people will have to come and see what daring new stunt Freeman will attempt at 7:45 p.m. today.

In addition, a pair of new faces at the event will be the Ives Brothers, two motorcycle stunt riders. Klock said the brothers will entertain the crowd with a stunt show at the bottom of every hour with the “Globe of Death.” Similar to last year, Klock said a free car show will take place on Main Street.

With the overwhelming attendance the event experienced last year, Klock said it’s a testament to the community’s support for motorcyclists and tourists.

“The community has shown how much they care about welcoming new people, whether that’s bikers or tourists,” Klock said.

The musical guests -- Shelby Lee Lowe, along with Dustin Evans and the Good Times Band -- will be performing from 5 to 7 p.m., and 8 to 10 p.m., respectively. The country music artists will be performing at the Corn Palace Plaza.

Among the new guest appearances will be Darren McKeag, a nationally known motorcycle artist, and Carey Hart, a former freestyle professional motocross competitor who is married to the pop music icon, Pink.

Although Klock has built a name for himself — and a well-known national brand in the motorcycle industry — continuing the Palace City Pre-Sturgis Party is his way of expressing thanks to the community that raised him, he said.

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“It’s an honor to see the kind of effect we at Klock Werks have had on the industry,” Klock said. “If you would have told me 20 years ago that Dan Cheeseman and I would have this effect on the industry, and that we would be able to bring that effect to the community, I would have laughed at you. I’m blessed to call this place home.”

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Motorcycle daredevil Cole Freeman, right, exchanges high-fives with spectators during last year's Aug. 2 Palace City Pre-Sturgis Party in front of the Corn Palace. After narrowly clearing a 50 foot jump last year, Freeman will be attempting a new stunt today. (Sam Fosness / Republic)

Related Topics: EVENTSCORN PALACETOURISM
Sam Fosness joined the Mitchell Republic in May 2018. He was raised in Mitchell, S.D., and graduated from Mitchell High School. He continued his education at the University of South Dakota in Vermillion, where he graduated in 2020 with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and a minor in English. During his time in college, Fosness worked as a news and sports reporter for The Volante newspaper.
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