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.