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story.lead_photo.caption Bill Price of Elkins takes a picture next to a 1956 Ford Thunderbird on Saturday during the Bikes, Blues and BBQ car show at Arvest Ballpark in Springdale.

SPRINGDALE -- Families and bikers from near and far strolled through the rows of more than 200 vehicles on display Saturday at Arvest Ballpark in Springdale during the Bikes, Blues and BBQ car show.

Car enthusiasts excitedly shared engine details with passers-by and chatted with fellow drivers during the last day of events for the annual Bikes, Blues and BBQ motorcycle rally.

The car show has been part of the rally for six years, and the money raised at the event goes to Northwest Arkansas charities. It was held in the parking lot of the Northwest Arkansas Mall in Fayetteville until the rally expanded out to the ballpark area in Springdale in 2014.

This first official Bikes, Blues and BBQ venue outside Fayetteville has grown from two days of events to a four-day affair.

"This is much better than last year," staff member Mike Griffith said. "We've had much better attendance and certainly more vendors." Officials were hoping to attract 50,000 people to the ballpark this year, he said.

In addition to the car show, those looking to escape the packed crowds at the main rally hub in Fayetteville could also shop around for biker apparel and parts at the 25 vendor booths at the Springdale ballpark or find shaded seating and enjoy a turkey leg or pulled-pork sandwich from the official rally smokehouse, new this year.

"I enjoy it. It's bigger this year but it's a good location. The other is too crowded," said Jim Patterson of Bella Vista, who was showing off his red 2013 Corvette.

Other new attractions at the site included a demo truck with new Harley-Davidson models available for test rides. The Full Throttle Stunt Riders also put on high-energy shows in the morning and afternoon.

In Fayetteville, events on Saturday included the annual Parade of Power, in which motorcyclists show off their bikes on the route from the Washington County Fairgrounds to Dickson Street, and the Arkansas State BBQ Championship.

Most of the the drivers who entered their cars in Saturday's show in Springdale live in Northwest Arkansas, but others traveled from surrounding states and from as far as Toronto.

There were 28 classes in which the rides could compete, but many competitors did not seem concerned about who won.

"The best part is when people walk up and say 'Oh, I like that car' or 'My grandfather used to drive one of these,'" Kenny Davis of Rogers said. "That's better than any trophy. And it's for a really good cause."

Bill Price of Elkins took a picture Saturday next to a 1956 Ford Thunderbird.

"I just love these old cars," he said, recalling that he had a '57 Pontiac in high school. "I loved that thing. These '50s and '60s cars are the reason we keep coming."

Information for this article was contributed by Charlie Kaijo of the Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette and by staff members of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

Photo by Andy Shupe
Richard Fritz of Sonora cheers Saturday as motorcycle riders pass him during the Bikes, Blues and BBQ motorcycle rally in Fayetteville.

Metro on 09/24/2017

Print Headline: Barbecue, bikes, cars pull in fans

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