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Published: January 29th 2010
Bikes Blues & BBQ 2009
Bikes filling Fayetteville's Dickson Street from dawn to dusk
Fayetteville, home of the University of Arkansas Razorbacks, has become one of the top destinations for bikers, who rally at the Bikes, Blues and BBQ festival.
The 2008 event attracted over 300,000 people and 100,000 bikes, and attendance has grown every year. This yearly celebration is fun for the bikers and the families watching from the sidewalks as the spectacle of thousands of chromed bikes with tons of attitude roll by!
A great attraction for bikers to this festival is enjoying the spectacular fall color of the surrounding forests as they follow the many meandering highways of the Ozark Mountains. Since the event is usually held in September, the festival bikers are generally met with cooler autumn weather that makes for a great outdoor event.
The headquarters for this jamboree is centered on Fayetteville’s Dickson Street. The one time “seedy” underside of the city has been “gentrified” and now is a tree shaded credit to the city. Dickson Street features a performing arts center and many excellent restaurants and lounges. The street has become the street of choice on which the “beauty pageant” of rumbling bikes passes in a continuous parade; the shaded sidewalks are ideal for strolling
Bikes Blues & BBQ 2009
All side streets off Dickson provide parking and they fill up fast every morning!
or for perching on convenient benches to watch the passing parade of bikes.
Bikes, Blues & BBQ has become very much a “family event” with children dressing the part of bikers while munching candy apples and other delicious delights, including world class barbecue.
Dickson Street and all the side streets are lined with bike masterpieces in every parking spot. The whole effect of the flashing chrome, beautiful women and engine roar and exhaust is almost overwhelming, but in total makes for a wonderful experience not soon forgotten.
Although Dickson Street is the “center” of the festival visually, more city locations are added each year to accommodate the ever growing attendance. Located on Dickson & West streets the Walton Arts Center’s parking lot is the main feature as many bike and accessory manufacturers have display booths intermixed with the BBQ contestants’ trailers. The main feature here is the large stage on which almost continuous blues are played by both national and local blues bands.
The festival grand finale is the annual Parade of Power. The Parade is made up of a steady stream of bikes that circle from the Baum stadium track facility, through the University of Arkansas
Bikes Blues and BBQ 2009
Interesting folks and interesting dress is the norm at Bikes Blues & BBB!
campus, down Dickson street and then back to Baum stadium. The 2009 parade stretched two and a half miles! The crowd favorite was a bride and groom still in tux and gown, and spectators hollered congratulations as they biked by.
Great hamburgers at Hugo’s, Italian at Noodles, pizza at Tim’s, Mexican at Jose’s, center cut beef filet at Hog Haus Brewing Company, seafood at Powerhouse Seafood & Grill, or haute cuisine at Bordino’s are sure to satisfy the pickiest of palettes.
Plenty of hotel and bed and breakfasts are available. But if you are considering making it to the next Bike, Blues & BBQ in Fayetteville, it is wise to make reservations well in advance of the event date. Be warned that reservations get hard to come by between the Arkansas-Missouri border to the north and Ft. Smith to the south.
Whether you drive a bike, pickup or a Rolls this event is a must see and showing up and joining in on the fun is sure to be one of the highlights of your travel year.
Bikes Blues and BBQ: http://www.bikesbluesandbbq.org/
Things to do in Fayetteville and Northwest
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