Bikes, Blues and BBQ now includes Eureka Springs; thousands expected here
Bikes, Blues & BBQ, the region's largest motorcycle rally and the fourth-largest in the nation last year with over a quarter-million attendees, has outgrown its home base of Fayetteville and the overflow has shifted north toward Eureka Springs.
For the first time in BBB history, Eureka Springs has been actively endorsed as a destination for the rally.
"This is the first year that BBB has actively cross-promoted with Eureka Springs even though there has always been a satellite rally in Eureka," said Bikes, Blues and BBQ Executive Director Joe Giles. "With the cross-promotion we will be able to create more entertainment opportunities for attendees with great vendors, food, music and great riding roads."
In 2011, the bike rally drew more than 350,000 visitors and this year, BBB staff estimate that there will be close to 400,000 people visiting regionally.
BBB will have a major impact on Eureka Springs; in addition to overnighters, Eureka Springs is expected to have a significant amount of day-trippers. Hotels throughout town are at approximately 97 percent capacity for the weekend, officials say, and approximately 7,000-10,000 bikers will travel through Eureka Springs throughout this weekend.
The rally will draw a large crowd, and community officials want to remind locals to take their time and be accepting of the revenue that will come from the rally.
"We want to encourage locals to be patient and aware because motorcycles are everywhere," said Greater Eureka Springs Chamber of Commerce President Mike Bishop. "People should account for the traffic and adjust schedules accordingly -- remember that travelers are good for Eureka Springs."
More than 220 official vendors will be set up throughout Fayetteville and Eureka Springs with several satellite vendors setting up in vacant lots.
Rain is in the forecast, but that is not likely to dampen the festivities; there are plenty of indoor shows, bars and restaurants in the event that the weather attempts to rain on the Bikes, Blues and BBQ parade.
Following is a list of local venues that will cater to the festival-goers:
* Rockin' Pig Saloon will have an outdoor beer garden with tents and merchandise beginning Wednesday.
* Chaser's Bar will begin live music on Wednesday and Friday through Sunday there will be an outdoor beer garden, live music and numerous food and drink specials.
* Cathouse Lounge / Pied Piper Pub will have an outdoor beer garden, merch for sale and live music beginning Wednesday.
* The Lumberyard will numerous food and drink specials and a DJ beginning Wednesday.
* Harley-Davidson in Rogers will have more than 60 vendors and a bike wash beginning Wednesday.
* For those that enjoy art and motorcycles visit the Best Western Inn of the Ozarks On Saturday; they will host the "Art of the Motorcycle" art show at the Convention Center.
For a full schedule see www.carrollconews.com/blogs/livemusicinnwa/entry/49660/.