Bikes Blues And BBQ Kicks Off Wednesday

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FAYETTEVILLE (KFSM) - The 15th annual Bikes Blues and BBQ festival comes to Northwest Arkansas on Wednesday, bringing in thousands of motorcycle enthusiasts from across the nation.

Executive director Joe Giles said every year they try to make the event bigger and better than the year before.

"This is not your standard motorcycle rally, this is more like a great big fun festival for everyone that happens to be centered around motorcycling," Giles said.

Bikes Blues and BBQ showcases free live music, vendors, food, and a state championship BBQ contest. Giles said this year there will be pig races, lawnmower pulls and a tattoo expo at the Washington County Fairgrounds. He said there will also be a steak eating and cooking championship at Arvest Ballpark, along with a car show and a vintage motorcycle show.

The organizer said Fayetteville police typically shut down Dickson Street for safety purposes, only allowing bikes to park on the street during the event. He said they also usually close a couple blocks on West Street.

Giles said last year around 350,000 people came out and joined in on the festival. He said there were at least 100,000 motorcycles that participated in the rally.

"It is one enormous leather clad family, we all like each other, we have that in common, and I have friends that I have met here at the rally and they come back every year," he said.

He said the event is the world's largest charity motorcycle rally, and said since the festival began in 2000, they have given $614,000 to local charities. Giles said their focus is family-oriented organizations, like the Fayetteville Boys And Girls Club.

For a complete list of events during Bikes Blues and BBQ, click here.

15 comments

  • Horace

    I know the event can be a pain, but it puts a lot of money in the pockets of NWA businesses. Arkansas has long been known for little more than hicks and hillbillies, so it’s nice to have something notable that’s uniquely ours.

  • Jo

    Horace is right. The injection of cash into the local economy cannot be overlooked. How is this a bad thing? Did you not read the article? The event is the world’s largest charity motorcycle rally. The festival has given $614,000 to local charities. With a lot of bad things going on in the world, I don’t see how this is a negative to anyone. Regarding the 1%’s…they want to make a buck too and will not do anything to jeopardize their business. Besides, from what I have experienced year after year attending BBB, the authorities do a excellent job. Everyone benefits

    • Iam anon

      I realize this brings in a lot of money. I hope it stays as it is. I ride and have been to some other “rallys” and know that once the wrong crowd seems to take over it gets ugly. It’s a juggling act for the city it is in to balance the freedom the riders want and not letting it get out of hand.

    • Angie

      $614000 since 2000 (that’s 14 years), but over 315000 people showed last year and that many or more show up every year. That doesnt add up. It’s not as much about charity as it is about partying. And as far as businesses go, it’s a few days and that’s it. The college kids and locals keep the businesses going all year.

  • CN Carter

    I will be in Rogers for a completely unrelated concert this weekend…how bad is this going to be?? Will I be able to watch the Hogs game in a sports bar, (Grubs, Farrells)? I assume that Fayetteville will be crazy, but how bout Rogers, Springdale, Bentonville, etc?

  • Doug McDowall

    I heard there was going to be something going on at the Drake Field airport also with a bunch of WWII aircraft, including the world’s only flying B-29 Superfortress this weekend. What can you tell us about it?

  • Charmise Gondron

    What is it about Americans who were teens in the 70s? They are the worst people on the planet. I know they idolized 60s hippie culture, but never got any of the idealism. They all did a lot of drugs in their teens, which explains their stunted emotional and mental development and their absolute failure as parents, leaders, and human beings. This rally is FULL of that age group of people and they are, to a person, leather-clad losers. The rally is the worst week to live in NWA. Its fully of really ugly trash people who show no regard for our communities. Wish they’d all crawl back into the trailer parks they crawled out of.

  • Angie

    $614000 since 2000 (that’s 14 years), but over 315000 people showed last year and that many or more show up every year. That doesnt add up. It’s not as much about charity as it is about partying. And as far as businesses go, it’s a few days and that’s it. The college kids and locals keep the businesses going all year.

  • Hayden

    As long as they don’t affect traffic by holding up others so their pack can make it through red lights, I don’t care what they do.

    • Hayden

      Just let them have fun as long as it’s legal, respectful, and safe for others, and that’s my opinion for any interest group. :)

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