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Bikes, Blues & BBQ, Fayetteville
Bikes, Blues & BBQ, Fayetteville
    Bikes, Blues & BBQ, Fayetteville
Bikes, Blues & BBQ, Fayetteville


September 12, 2003

Bikes, Blues & BBQ Festival Rolls Into Fayetteville - Blues Traveler and The Neville Brothers to Headline Concert

By Jill M. Rohrbach, travel writer
Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism

FAYETTEVILLE -- Dickson Street is gearing up for the 4th annual Bikes, Blues & BBQ festival set for Thursday through Saturday, Oct. 2-4. About 75,000 people, including about 25,000 bikers, are expected to attend this year's festival.



Motorcyclists will begin rolling into town on Thursday with festival events beginning around 3 p.m. Thousands of bikes will line Dickson Street, which will be closed to automobiles and open for bike parking only beginning Friday night. Visitors can also park their motorcycles in lots surrounding Dickson Street.

This year, special attractions include a stunt rider in the Wall of Death. "It's like riding inside a barrel on a motorcycle," said Mark Pryor, the event's coordinator. Bikers can take advantage of the Dyno Tester, which measures a bike's horsepower and other performance features. Other activities for bikers include a Poker Run, a parade from the Northwest Arkansas Mall to Dickson Street, a bike show, contests, and a ride to Arkansas's wine region.

Vendors selling items such as leather goods and apparel, bike trailers, saddle bags, helmets, rain gear, jewelry, and more will also be on hand.

Other activities associated with the festival include the Ms. Bikes, Blues and BBQ contest, and new this year a Baby Bikers beauty contest. A $20 donation to the Washington County Council on Aging will give visitors a chance to win a 2003 Yamaha Road Star Midnight motorcycle. The festival is a benefit for the council's Meals on Wheels program, which serves over 600 meals in the community daily. Last year the festival generated $50,000 for the program.



Free blues music on the main stage, located in the Walton Arts Center parking lot on Dickson Street, is scheduled daily. Thursday's line-up starts at 6 p.m., ends at 10 p.m. and includes Jennifer B and the Groove Kings, 'Lectric Liz, and Cherry Brooks. Performances scheduled from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Friday include the Tyronnes, Joe Giles and the Homewreckers, and Wes Jeans. Free music on Saturday will take place from 2 p.m. to 10 p.m. and will include performances by Jaww, Curtis Moore Band, The Traveling Wheelbearings, The Nace Brothers, Oreo Blue, and The Cate Brothers.

Blues Traveler and The Neville Brothers will be in concert at 7:30 p.m. Friday come rain or shine at an outdoor stage at the Northwest Arkansas Mall. The opening band will be Three Legged Dog from Leland, Miss., followed by The Peter Mayer Group, a band formed by Peter Mayer, who is Jimmy Buffett's lead guitarist. The Neville Brothers will play before Blues Traveler wraps up the show.

Gates open at 6:30 p.m. and tickets cost $28 for general admission and $53 for reserved seating. "If you buy 50 VIP tickets, we will give you ten free," Pryor said. Tickets may be ordered by phone at (479) 521-2274 or online at Tickets may also be purchased at the Harley Davidson dealerships in Tulsa, Okla., and Joplin, Mo., as well as these Fayetteville venues: all Northwest Arkansas ANB Bank locations, Hastings, Romance Diamonds and Jose's restaurant.

The Jimi Hendrix Traveling Museum will also visit Dickson Street. Free to enter, it consists of memorabilia such as guitars and clothing as well as music and items for sale.



New this year is a barbecue cook-off at 5 p.m. on Saturday. Participants can enter as teams or individually in three categories: business, amateur and professional. Judging will be in beef, poultry and pork, and participants can enter more than one category. Prizes will include trophies. The cost is $50 for the business and professional categories and $20 for amateurs. All proceeds benefit the Meals on Wheels program. Forms to enter the contest are available on the festival Web site.

A beer garden and food vendors will be available at various locations on the Walton Arts Center parking lot and the city parking lot north of Dickson Street, behind the Ozark Brewing Company.


The Setting

Many consider Fayetteville the arts and entertainment center of northwest Arkansas. A gateway to the University of Arkansas, Dickson Street in downtown Fayetteville has a long tradition as the hot spot for live entertainment and nightlife. The downtown area is home to an eclectic mix of restaurants, bars and retail venues.

Just blocks away, the Fayetteville square is known for its beautiful gardens and Farmer's Market.

Pryor said the setting for the festival is one of the driving forces behind its success. He said riders can experience great motorcycle rides, made more spectacular by the brilliant fall foliage, in all directions.

Also, the Arkansas and Missouri Railroad Blues Train departs daily from Dickson Street for excursions through the autumn landscape of the Ozark Mountains.

The free festival has grown from about 700 bikers the first year to 17,000 last year to the 25,000 expected this year, not to mention the growing number of non-bikers that attend the festival each year.

For more information, phone the Fayetteville Convention and Visitors Bureau at (800) 766-4626 and visit The Web site contains extensive, up-to-date information as well as links to detailed information on specific events and blues bands.



Submitted by the Arkansas Department of Parks & Tourism
One Capitol Mall, Little Rock, AR 72201, (501) 682-7606

May be used without permission. Credit line is appreciated:
"Arkansas Department of Parks & Tourism"




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