Bikes, Blues and Barbecue Heading Into The Freeway To Rogers, At Least By 2022

WHAT’S THE POINT: With the news that an annual motorcycle rally will be based in Rogers instead of Fayetteville, residents of both cities are wondering which direction they are going.

With my apologies to Steppenwolf:

“I like smoke and lightning

Heavy metal thunder

Race with the wind

And the feeling that I’m under

Yeah, darling will make it happen

Take the world in a loving embrace

Fire all your guns at once and

Explode in … Rogers? “

This is where Bikes, Blues & BBQ, the big annual fall motorcycle gathering based in Fayetteville for 20 years, heads to Rogers. For at least 2022. Maybe (depends on covid-19, like everything these days).

News of the move broke Thursday evening. With the construction of a new parking lot on Dickson Street and West Avenue as well as work underway on the new arts corridor, the gathering in downtown Fayetteville could run into a few roadblocks.

Rogers, meanwhile, recently completed upgrades to its downtown public spaces, including a plaza and outdoor stage, which appear to be likely venues for many musical performances, vendors, and other events associated with the gathering for years. .

Fayetteville cheerleader and Chamber of Commerce president Steve Clark said the rally has become more regional in nature and it’s not a real loss for Fayetteville businesses which benefit from the 300,000 attendees. estimated. The bars and restaurants of Dickson Street, he says, will do.

Of course he gets paid to say that. But he’s probably right. There have been Bikes, Blues & BBQ events scattered around the area for quite some time now – well, at least the years before 2019, the last year the rally was held. Springdale and Rogers both hosted associated events, and no one within 50 miles will hear that heavy metal rumble for several days as riders try out the beautiful twisty freeways through the Ozark Hills.

Rogers Mayor Greg Hines said the city was ready to partner with the Bikes, Blues & BBQ organization to make it a success. He is also paid to say that. But, if the bikers come anyway, you might as well make them feel at home and help them spend their money in your city, right?

We don’t really know what kind of activities will be going for rally 2022, or for that matter, where it will all take place. We will have to wait for this information. It’s also fair to assume that there will be people in Rogers (just like there have been in Fayetteville) who won’t take this news with a loving embrace. They won’t look forward to all that smoke and lightning for five days in the fall. Mayor Hines will surely hear from them (if he hasn’t already). Meanwhile, a few people in Fayetteville might be celebrating a bit.

Things will be different at Rogers October 5-8, if the rally actually goes. For the past two years, covid has had it cleaned up – in 2021, the cancellation came in just a few weeks.

So nothing is really set in stone. But it could be a mad rush.

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