A wedding to remember at the 80th Sturgis Rally

Deadwood, S.D. — While many people come to Sturgis to party and have fun, for one family, it was a lot more than that.

It was a beautiful day for a ride to Deadwood, and their wedding.

Sylmar, California natives the Hernandez family, drove their motorcycles over 1,400 miles to be married at the historic Deadwood Adams House. The wedding was held outdoors, which made for plenty of social distancing, but it was also an excellent opportunity to showcase the house.

“We don’t typically do a lot of weddings, we’re a museum first, but the Adams House has a spectacular venue. When Armida Hernandez contacted me from California, we wanted to go out of our way because typically the Adams House isn’t overly busy during the rally,” said Deadwood Inc. communications director of history Rose Spiers. “So it was the perfect time to host a wedding.”

Deadwood Mayor Dave Ruth Jr also officiated the special day for the family.

You might ask, why would a family travel so far for a wedding, in the middle of a pandemic, at the busiest time of the year for South Dakota?

“Well, my family and I, we all are bikers, we like to ride, and this is always a fun trip that we take once a year,” said Armida Hernandez, the mother of the groom. “We’ve been here five years, and my son and his fiance decided they wanted to get married here, so we came to deadwood and got married here.”

“We were kinda scared to come out here because the epidemic going on, but all my friends were saying, well if you don’t come, we’re coming anyways,” said father of the groom, Jerry Hernandez. “My boy means so much to them, that they all, either way we’re coming. So, i just thought it was a blessing and let’s just do it.”

After the wedding, the family did use the time to take photos with the house and their bikes as backdrops, before a ride through the Black Hills and an evening reception in Piedmont. Of course, taking safety into consideration, the family realized many of their loved ones would not be able to attend, but still wanted to give them an opportunity to share in the special day. 

“We are gonna have a reception in October, for the family and friends that couldn’t make it. So we’re gonna have another party again,” said Armida Hernandez.

As family and friends celebrated the newlyweds, just across the street, sat an unassuming resident who was touched by the unique wedding. Lawrence Kracht, is a 90-year-old long-time Deadwood resident who lost his wife in 2004, and now lives alone. He recalls getting married at the First Baptist Church of the Northern Hills, and was overjoyed being able to witness the wedding and says he will always remember the day.

“I think it’s just fascinating, that’s about all I can say about it, but it was,” says Kracht. “As I live here next door, I‘m kinda lonely, this is exciting. And so it makes my day.”

A warm heartfelt congratulations to Mr. and Mrs. Hernandez.

Categories: Coronavirus, Local News, Rally 2020, South Dakota News