If you live in Wyoming, or anywhere else in the world for that matter, you’ve probably heard of the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. For one week in August, half a million strong gather to celebrate their freedom of expression through motorcycle runs, test rides, live music and eclectic entertainment.. What you may not have heard of, though, is a pig-roasting, live-music-boasting, Harley-coasting Wyoming tradition just over the South Dakota border called …
The Hulett Ham and Jam.
That changes today. If you haven’t heard of the Ham and Jam before today, we are proud to be the first to tell you about this Wyoming-hosted event during the Sturgis motorcycle rally. If you like wild times, free food and live music, you’re going to have a good time.
Over the years, the Wednesday of the Sturgis motorcycle rally has come to be known as “Wyoming Wednesday,” a great reason to escape the hustle, bustle and muscle shirts that downtown Sturgis keeps aplenty.
That Wednesday, thousands of riders load up on their Great American freedom machines, “pack up the babies and grab the ol͛ ladies, ‘cause everyone knows” and everyone goes to the Hulett Ham N’ Jam. (Sorry, Neil Diamond, we butchered “Brother Love’s Traveling Salvation Show,” but we’re sure our readers will have it in their heads for at least 20 minutes after reading this article).
If you’ve been before, we hope to teach you something new about the event. If you haven’t been, pay close attention, because we’re going to do our best to take you there in your head. If ye be brave, we will give you an idea of how to do “Wyoming Wednesday” during the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally.
(Note: No real reason to reference this article here, since you mention Devil’s Tower below and say this article isn’t about it anyway.)
The first thing you must know about the Ham and Jam is that you’re going to want to show up early. We’re going to assume you’re headed there from Sturgis, for the sake of having a reference (and hey, why not check out Sturgis beforehand?). Your ride is going to be about 53 miles headed out from the rally, and it can get hot. The last thing you want to do is get there at peak time. Given that the event boasts free food in the middle of a week where many a folk tend to spend way too much money, suffice it to say that it gets popular. You don’t want to be stuck two miles out of town sitting and waiting in a sea full of motorcycles that put out quite a bit of their own heat. Get there early!
When you do get into town, if you’re on a motorcycle, there should be a good amount of parking on Hulett’s Main Street. The town closes the road to vehicle traffic and only motorcycles are allowed in. But remember where you parked! Once you fill yourself with the delicious wares of the town and the vendors at the ham and jam, unnecessary walking in the heat will make you feel like YOU’RE the pig getting roasted. There will be a lot of motorcycles in a very long row, and it’s easy to lose one. If you’re riding with people, try your best to park together. Odds are you’ll be headed for Devil͛’s Tower after lunch, and you don’t want to waste an hour of your day trying to find Allan because he parked his sportster closer to the action. Park together. Even you, Allan.
Next up is lunch! We know you’re hungry, but take the scenic route (as long as you showed up early) and check out the vendors, the people, and feel the vibe of Hulett. Some old timers and Sturgis veterans prefer Hulett. They say it feels more like the Sturgis of ol’, before corporate sponsors and big money got involved. We can only speculate, as we sure weren’t at Sturgis 20 or 30 years ago, but that’s what we hear.
Either way, walk along Main Street and take it all in. Heck, we’d love to hear about it! Tag us in your recollects or live posts if you decide to attend!
Now, back to the food. The Hulett Chamber of Commerce hosts a free lunch, complete with delicious pulled pork sandwiches and a few other tasty sides. Get in line in plenty of time. We’ve never heard of them running out, so at your convenience, load up, eat up, smile and be glad you’re in Wyoming!
Now that you’ve hammed, it’s time to complete event’s moniker and, you guessed it:. We’re not talking about Smuckers, or the delicious stuff your grandma used to make (but if she still does, we’ll give you an address and take a case.) We’re talking about that old time rock and roll, the type of music that just soothes your soul. (Alright, alright, I’ll stop.)
Hulett hosts live music next door to the makeshift outdoor mess hall. Grab your lady, and do-si-do! It’s a good time to burn off lunch before you head out on the road to enjoy the gorgeous scenery.
(It’s actually hard to avoid gorgeous vistas in the area. There’s a reason folks started riding their motorcycles here all those years ago.)
If you don’t have a dance partner, you’re in luck. There will more than likely be several others looking for a dance partner. Find ͚em and cut a little rug before you burn a little rubber.
Burn rubber? That’s right, tradition is to head over to Sundance after the Ham and Jam for the burnout contest. If you’re unfamiliar with what a burnout is—well, we encourage you to attend. It’s an expression reserved for a special few who feel the urge to cause controlled damage to their motorcycle tires, just to feel the thrill of breaking the rules (or, at least, what it would feel like to break the rules if you were on the street. in Sundance that day only, the town reserves a spot to enjoy burning that rubber legally. Hooray!)
There you have it, ladies and gentlemen. The adage goes, “There is no such thing as a free lunch,” and we aren’t here to argue with that. But on Wyoming Wednesday in Hulett during the Sturgis Motorcycle rally, the lunch is about as close to free as it can be.
For that one Wednesday in August, in small town in Wyoming, there’s a free sandwich with your name on it. Go forth and get it. Tag us in your adventures.
Article Written by Brady McLean