The Largest Music Festival in Motorcycling
Buffalo Chip Campground Logo
|Address||20622 131st Ave|
|Location||Buffalo Chip, South Dakota, United States|
|Type||Campground, Concert Event|
|Genre(s)||Rock, Country, Classic rock|
The Buffalo Chip Campground is an event venue in Meade County, South Dakota, USA. In 2016, an attempt was made to incorporate the City of Buffalo Chip. The legal status of the city was disputed, with a circuit court ruling against incorporation, but the South Dakota Supreme Court decided in 2018 that Buffalo Chip was indeed a city.
The campground place for motorcycle enthusiasts and music festival visitors each year, and has been since being founded in 1981. Host to a 10-day Concert Series and thousands of motorcyclists each August during the annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, the Buffalo Chip provides a music festival, various other forms of entertainment, and full service tent, RV and cabin camping on almost 600 acres in rural Meade County. The motorcycle and music festival also features entertainment such as beauty pageants, dance performances, bike shows and stunts, roller derby, midget bowling, military tributes.
The Sturgis Buffalo Chip Campground, located outside of Sturgis, SD, began in 1981  as a campground for bikers attending the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. In the early years motorcyclists roughed it in tents in little more than a pasture, however over the years the Buffalo Chip Campground installed electricity, drilled wells, installed flush toilets, shower houses, RV sites, Cabins, turned a pond into a swimming hole called the "Bikini Beach", added 3 more stages, numerous bars, multiple food services, a convenience store, laid asphalt, erected the iron "Welcome Home Biker" entrance gates and an 8-ton buffalo sculpture with the letters "CHIP" cut out of its center 30' above Hwy 34 at the corner of the Sturgis Buffalo Chip's property.
The Buffalo Chip made notable national television news coverage in 2008 when John McCain visited the Buffalo Chip Campground on his 2008 campaign trail. McCain joked that he wanted his wife to enter the Miss Buffalo Chip beauty contest  held at the Buffalo Chip campground. In 2009 the Buffalo Chip made additional notable national news coverage when Aerosmith lead singer, Steven Tyler, fell off the stage.
The Sturgis Buffalo Chip built a 7,000 sq. ft. exhibition hall in 2009 to house its annual Motorcycles as Art Exhibit. This annual revolving exhibit has been curated by Michael Lichter. Exhibits have featured the works of multiple builders of custom motorcycles, the works of photographer Michael Lichter, himself, and sculptor Jeff Decker.
South Dakota Governor, Dennis Daugaard proclaimed Thursday, Aug. 11, 2011, as the official Buffalo Chip Campground Day in South Dakota. The proclamation was read from the Wolfman Jack Stage by ABC TV news anchorman, Bob Woodruff, present to participate in the Buffalo Chip's Military Tribute Day and raise awareness for the Bob Woodruff Foundation's mission to put action into the saying "Support Our Troops."
Ownership and operation
The Buffalo Chip Campground was founded by Rod Woodruff. He remains the President and CEO. He and his family run and prepare for each August music festival  with the help of a small staff employed full-time year round and few hundred temporary help staff the grounds for the event.
Carol, Rod's wife, manages the box office. His daughter, Toni Woodruff, manages vending and, jointly with his son, Daymon Woodruff, merchandising. Daymon also directs the bar operations as well as the showcase entertainment. Toni and Daymon's mother, Meri Remick, manages personnel and bar accounting.
The Buffalo Chip has and continues to support many charities. Its most notable charitable efforts are "The Legends Ride"  and "The Biker Belles Ride," the latter of which is sponsored by Harley Davidson. Both charity rides were founded and are promoted by the Buffalo Chip.
The annual Legends Ride features some of the celebrities  that attend the Sturgis Buffalo Chip's events. Hundreds of thousands of dollars have been passed to local Black Hills charities. Current beneficiaries are the Sturgis Motorcycle Museum and Hall of Fame and the Black Hills Special Olympics  and Sturgis Brown High School students.
The annual Biker Belles ride features and emphasizes women in motorcycling, though men are included in the ride. One hundred percent of riders' contributions are passed to two charities, the Sturgis Motorcycle Museum and Hall of Fame and Helping With Horsepower.
In 2016, Buffalo Chip attempted to incorporate as a town to avoid annexation by the city of Sturgis. The legality of the incorporation was challenged in court, an appeal was made to the South Dakota Supreme Court which, on January 25, 2018, ruled that only the state—and not another municipality—can challenge incorporation. The State of South Dakota brought that challenge to Meade County Court in summer 2018.
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