The 11th annual Bikes, Blues & BBQ rally will take place this weekend in Fayetteville, Arkansas. Climb On! with Motorcycle USA as we bring you action from the scene.
I can almost smell the Q grillin’ from here. We’re a few days from packing up the bags on a 2012 Victory Cross Country to make the ride from Austin, Texas, to Fayetteville, Arkansas, for the 11th annual Bikes, Blues and BBQ rally, but we’ve already got BBQ on the brain. What a great premise for a motorcycle rally! Invite bikers from around the country to ride in the beautiful Ozark Mountains, be entertained by down home blues bands in an area close to where the style of music originated, and top if off with plenty of finger-lickin’-good BBQ. Makes me wonder why we’ve never been before.
Bikes, Blues and BBQ started up in 2000 with a few hundred people in attendance. For the 11th annual event they’re projecting hundreds of thousands of attendees. No wonder why it was a scramble to find a hotel room in Fayetteville. What’s neat about the BBB festival is it’s a non-profit, charity-driven event that’s billed as being family friendly. Besides the economic boost the area receives from full hotels and restaurants, the event generated over $150,000 for local charities in 2011.
Riders will start rolling in this week, but it doesn’t officially kick off until Thursday, Sept. 28, and runs through Oct. 1. Blues will soon be flooding the air from three stages, Baum Stadium, Washington County Fairgrounds and the Dickson Street Main Stage. Some of this year’s bands include Little Hoojin, Trick Bag, Kory Montgomery, The Nace Brothers, Louisiana Crossroads, David Kimbrough, Jr. and many more. There are also a couple of headliners playing at the Arkansas Music Pavilion, with Candlebox performing Thursday night while Jamey Johnson takes the stage on Friday.
The Barbecue Contest will be held at the Washington County Fairgrounds. For the “People’s Choice Awards,” rally goers will be able to buy a tasting kit where they get to wander around and sample a taste from the various cooks. The following day, the KCBS Barbecue Cook-Off and the Arkansas State BBQ Championship takes place at the
Dickson Street and downtown Fayetteville will soon be packed with thousands of motorcyclists in town for the annual Bikes, Blues & BBQ festival.
Fairgrounds. Last year, over 30 of the best BBQ teams from around the country competed. While you’re walking around grubbing, they’ll have live music, cold beer and entertainment in the form of Circus Una Motorcycle Highwire Thrill Show scheduled, too. For Circus Una, the descriptor says “Think two beautiful women, one radical motorcycle, and a 50 foot tall high wire.” We’ll leave the imagery to your imagination.
Custom motorcycle owners eager to flaunt their ride can participate in the Battle of the Bikes. There are two shows scheduled, with the Stokes Air Bike Show kicking off Saturday morning with judging scheduled for noon, followed by Cycle Connection Harley-Davidson’s Battle of the Bikes firing up when that one ends. The contests will be held at the Main Beer Garden on Dickson and West Streets. Classes include Radical Custom, Chopper, Unique Bike, Sportster, Bagger, Metric Cruisers, American Factory Custom and an American Class.
In between grubbing on BBQ and listening to blues, there’s plenty more rally fare going on. The Miss Bikes, Blues and BBQ contest finals will be held Saturday night at the Dickston Street Beer Garden Main Stage at midnight with prelims taking place Thursday night at Jose’s and Friday night at George’s. A pair of poker runs put on by Fayetteville Firefighters are scheduled for both Friday and Saturday, the first a 145-mile loop to Eureka Springs, the latter a 130-mile run to Devils Den. Personally, we’re looking forward to the shenanigans of the lawn mower races as 40 “absolute lunatics on hopped up lawn mowers,” one with a claimed 170 hp, square off. There will be pro Arenacross racing at the Springdale Rodeo’s Parson’s Arena, where Cowboy Kenny Bartram and the Steel Rodeo Team will also be performing. People eager to check out the new 2012 line of motorcycles will have an opportunity to take a demo ride from one of several manufacturers in attendance as Harley-Davidson, Victory, Yamaha, Suzuki, and Can-Am will all be set up at the Baum Stadium venue.
We’re stoked about the opportunity to ride in a new area, meet some new people, and check out a rally we’ve never attended before. It’s hard to go wrong with the killer B’s – Bikes, Blues, & BBQ. Climb On! with Motorcycle USA as we bring you reports and photos from the scene this weekend.