One Tank Travels: Bikes, Blues & BBQ Motorcycle Rally

The beautiful Ozark Mountains are the backdrop for the annual Bikes, Blues & BBQ Motorcycle Rally set for Sept. 26-29 in Fayetteville.


Bikes, Blues & BBQ is the largest charitable bike rally in the United States. Hundreds of thousands of bikes will line Dickson Street and the surrounding area, giving festival-goers a close-up view of motorcycles in all makes and models, from stock bikes straight off the lot to individually customized bikes.

Activities for motorcyclists include a Poker Run, parade and bike show. A list of scenic rides capitalizing on the rolling hills of Fayetteville’s city streets and the scenic winding roads of the Arkansas Ozarks will be available. Manufacturers will offer demo rides on their newest bikes. Vendors will set up for biker enthusiasts to check out leather goods and apparel, bike trailers, helmets, goggles, rain gear and more. Another popular activity is the Ms. Bikes, Blues and BBQ contest.


Several stages offer tons of music throughout the event. On the Main Stage on Wednesday is Boston Mountain Playboys, Ruckus, Mountain Sprout, and The Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band. On Thursday, don’t miss Left of Center, NighTTrain, the Odds, Big ‘Uns, and The Nace Brothers. Friday you can catch Chase Missy, Isayah’s All Stars, Earl and Them, Red Ambition, and Oreo Blue. Taking the stage Saturday is David Starr, BBB Fashion Show, Rich Fabec, Full House and Chubby Carrier.

The Latco Pavilion at the Washington County Fairgrounds Campground will host Japton Social Club and Joe Giles and the Homewreckers on Friday and Ruckus and Another Fine Mess on Saturday.

The BBB Saloon at the fairgrounds campground opens Thursday night with E and the Boys, and Trick Bag. On Friday, the Wild Card Karaoke preliminary takes place followed by the Karoake Finals, Jeff Fox and Southern Corruption. The Fabulous Hightops play Saturday.

Local nightclubs offer music as well, including, Kingfish, George’s and Legacy Blues.


As if bikes and blues weren’t enough, there’s also the barbecue. Every year some of the best barbecue teams from around the country compete in the Arkansas State BBQ Championship, an official Kansas City Barbecue Society sanctioned cook-off. Filling the air at the Washington County Fairgrounds will be the smoky aroma of barbeque chicken, beef, pork and other side items. Don’t miss the People’s Choice Tasting at 6:15 p.m. on Friday. Winners of the contest are announced at 3 p.m. on Saturday.

Note that cooks provide anyone with a tasting kit a sample of their food, but it is a sample, not a full barbecue dinner with all the trimmings. Tasters make their way around the contest area and are entitled to BBQ from any and all of the cooking teams for as long as the food lasts. This year about 35 to 50 teams are expected to compete.

The Setting

Northwest Arkansas is centrally located within the U.S. and easy to get to from many major cities, which makes a difference considering the high cost of gas. Fayetteville is the arts and entertainment center of Northwest Arkansas. A gateway to the University of Arkansas, downtown Dickson Street has a long tradition as the hot spot for live music and nightlife. The downtown is home to an eclectic mix of restaurants, bars and retail venues. The event has expanded to areas throughout town.

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