Today the rumbling of motorcycles will be heard throughout Fayetteville as thousands of bikers ride into the Ozarks for Bikes, Blues and BBQ.
The event, which runs until Sept. 29, is one of the nation’s biggest bike rallies, bringing not only bikers, but also bike enthusiasts, tourists and locals, to Fayetteville. Not only does this event have a car show, motorcycle races, a poker run and concerts each day, Bikes, Blues and BBQ will host a variety of barbecue vendors and a barbecue contest.
Even if you are not particularly interested in bikes or blues, the rally is worth a visit for any barbecue lover.
The first Bikes, Blues and BBQ rally occurred in Fayetteville in 2000. In the past 12 years, this event has grown steadily, putting Fayetteville on the map for motorcyclists and motorcycle rally aficionados.
With this increase in the rally’s popularity, the barbecue aspect of the event has grown. Barbecue vendors will be located on and around Dickson Street, selling delicious barbecue and side items to rally attendees.
The Bikes, Blues and BBQ headquarters booth, located at the Bank of Fayetteville on Dickson Street, will provide all rally-goers with a map displaying where each vendor is located.
To get an idea of how exactly how much barbecue will be available, booths will be sited along Dickson Street at the Walton Arts Center parking lot, in the lot between Hammontree’s and Hog Haus Brewery, and in the parking lot of the Rowdy Beaver and Chipotle. The parking lot of Baum Stadium will also host barbecue vendors.
Many of these vendors will be restaurants from Fayetteville and the surrounding Northwest Arkansas area, so locals will have a chance to visit their old favorites in a different environment, and visitors will be able to get a taste of Northwest Arkansas barbecue.
The barbecue contest will host 35-50 competitors at the Washington County Fairgrounds Friday night at 6:15 p.m. This event will cost $6 for the public. Attendees at this event will be able to sample barbecue from all participants and cast their vote for the People’s Choice award.
This event is perfect for cheap — or even broke — college students, with a ticket price lower than an average restaurant meal that offers much more food. It’s also great for students who consider themselves foodies and want to sample a great variety of barbecue. Students may also wish to enter a raffle at the contest to win a trailer-hitch smoker.
Motorcycles, barbecue and music may not seem closely related, but this event pulls them together to create a unique experience.
“Barbecuing meat is a very hands-on, personal experience, much like riding or working on your motorcycle,” said Coleson Burns, associate director of Bikes, Blues and BBQ. “Once the barbecue has finished, it is then time to enjoy and share with your friends.
“This is very much like a bike rally. You get to go experience great rides, events and vendors, all the while enjoying and sharing the experience with friends.”
With just a walk down Dickson Street, one can see people showing off their motorcycles, which have often been customized to a T, and get the chance to eat some of the best barbecue in the area, all while listening to music and soaking up the atmosphere this event is known for.