Comin' At Ya

By The Free Weekly Staff

10th Annual Bikes, Blues & BBQ

Sept. 23-26

Tyson Track Center,

Dickson Street,

The AMP at Northwest Arkansas Mall


Miss Bikes, Blues and BBQ

*Preliminaries at 10 p.m. Friday, Sept. 23,

Sat, Sept. 24 at Jose’s on Dickson Street

*Semifinals at 10 p.m. Sept. 25 at George’s Majestic Lounge

*Finals at midnight Sept. 26 on the Main Stage on Dickson Street


Many years ago the late Kathy Johnson decided to raise some money for charity, so for a number of years she organized a little publicized motorcycle poker run. After the riders returned from the ride, there was usually food and music and usually the Cate Brothers were involved. Although it was never called Bikes, Blues & BBQ, that’s pretty much what it was. It was a local thing, maybe drawing riders from surrounding counties. It was before owning a Hog or whatever motorized two-wheeler you wanted to throw several thousand bucks at was a fad.

Fast forward about a decade when a group of Northwest Arkansas motorcyclists, some of whom were around in the days of Kathy Johnson’s poker run, organized a powwow to talk about a big motorcycle event. An event that would draw riders — thousand of riders — from around the nation and would benefit charity. With seed money from the city, the event that was known as Bikes, Blues & BBQ took off like a crotch rocket and has continued to grow, making some residents groan and others hoop and holler.

Fast forward another decade to 2009 when Bikes, Blues & BBQ is celebrating its 10th anniversary and is one of the largest motorcycle events in the nation, said to draw more than 100,000 people.

For the 10th anniversary, activities will be centered in three hubs, at the corner of Dickson Street and West Avenue where the main music stage will be, at the Tyson Track Center, 1380 S. Beechwood Ave., and nearby Baum Stadium, south of the University of Arkansas where the BBQ will be smoking, and new this year at The AMP at the Northwest Arkansas Mall where there will be a car show, Bikes, Blues & Hot Rods and concerts.

All three venues will have music stages, food and beer gardens and vendors. This year will feature all local or regional acts, with the exception of the concerts at The AMP on Sept. 24 (Molly Hatchet and Blackfoot) and Sept. 25 (Marshall Tucker Band, Oreo Blue, Steve Pryor).

In addition to poker runs, food and vendor booths, there will be free music at all three hubs, competition BBQ contests, a Miss Bikes Blues & BBQ contest and a Hot Rod Bikini contest.

From now until the end of the event, watch for motorcycles when you drive. Bikes will be touring throughout Northwest Arkansas, so share the road.

Below is a tentative schedule.

Check the Bikes, Blues & BBQ Web site for updates.

Bikes, Blues & Hot Rods

The AMP at the Northwest Arkansas Mall

The big white tent on the west side of the Northwest Arkansas Mall is known as The AMP and is NWA’s largest seasonal outdoor concert venue. The location will be home to concerts and the first ever Bikes, Blues & Hot Rods car show. The Ozark Blues Society has organized the free music on Saturday at The AMP and has scored a major coup by bringing in Sunshine Sonny Payne of King Biscuit Time radio show in Helena-West Helena to serve as master of ceremonies.

Thursday, Sept. 24

Events at The AMP open at 10 a.m. Sept. 24 and will include: Classic car hot rod builders, helicopter rides, the Gibson Guitar museum bus, the Venom IndyCar and Venom girls, a food and beer garden, car and bike vendors and a car and bike wash by the scantily clad Vixen models.

At 5 p.m. gates for the 7:30 p.m. Molly Hatchet and Blackfoot concert and the Hot Rod Bikini contest open. Tickets are $10.

Friday, Sept. 25

Gates and activities at 10 a.m. and continue all day on Sept. 25 with gates at 5 p.m. for the 7:30 p.m. Marshall Tucker Band, Steve Pryor and Oreo Blue show and Hot Rod Bikini contest. Tickets are $10.

Saturday, Sept. 26

Gates and activities open at 9 a.m. At noon judging will begin for Bikes, Blues & Hot Rods car show with prizes awarded in five categories: 1949 and older, 1950-59, 1960-69, 1970-1989, 1990 and newer and a truck category.


Blues At The AMP

Saturday, Sept. 26

10 a.m. — Nathan Aronowitz & Friends

11:15 a.m. — Ocie Fisher with Band From Planet X

12:15 p.m. — Dave Stiles Band

1:30 p.m. — Tightrope

3:15 p.m. — Mike Dollins & The Cruize Brothers

4:45 p.m. — John D. Levan & the Thunderboltz

6:00 p.m. — Fabulous High Tops

7:30 p.m. — Blues Musicians Jam


Local favorite Jeff Fox performs during Bikes, Blues and BBQ 2008.

Fox is scheduled to perform again this year on Thursday, Sept. 24.


Tyson Track Center/Baum Stadium Parking Lot

Thursday, Sept. 24

1 to 9 p.m. — BBQ contestant check-in. Cooking demonstrations by the Southern Living Tour with Troy Black

Friday, Sept. 25

7 a.m. to midnight — BBQ contestant check-in. Cooking demonstrations by the Southern Living Tour with Troy Black

8 a.m. to 4 p.m. — First poker run begins with staging at the Baum Stadium parking lot

7 p.m. — Simmons Foods People’s Choice serving begins

Saturday, Sept. 26

All day Cooking demonstrations by Southern Living Tour with Troy Black

8 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. — Bike registration for the Stokes Air Battle of the Bikes at the Baum Beer Garden

8 a.m. — Second poker run begins at Baum Stadium parking lot

9 a.m. — Scooter Scavenger Hunt begins at Baum Stadium parking lot

10 a.m. — Judging begins for Stokes Air Battle of the Bikes at the Baum Beer Garden

11 a.m. — Battle of the Bikes starts at the Baum Beer Garden

Noon — Kansas City Barbeque Society judging

3 p.m. — BBQ Awards Ceremony

3 p.m. — Parade of Power motorcycle parade staging at the Baum Stadium parking lot

4 p.m. — Parade of Power

Blues At Tyson Track Center/Baum Stadium

Wednesday, Sept. 23

5 p.m. — The Nick Noltes

7 p.m. — Cassette

Thursday, Sept. 24

4 p.m. — Foxy

6 p.m. — Bing Bang Papa

8:30 p.m. — Benjamin Del Shreve

Friday, Sept. 25

12:30 p.m. — Gary & John

3 p.m. — Lil Hoojin

5 p.m. — Big Bad Bubba

6:45 p.m. — Ben Miller Band

8:30 p.m. — Robert Hatfield Band

Saturday, Sept. 26

12:30 p.m. — Mo Brothers

3 p.m. — Joe Giles & The Homewreckers

4:30 p.m. — Another Fine Mess

6:15 p.m. — Eoff Brothers

8:30 p.m. — Kory Montgomery

Music At Dickson Street Main Stage

Wednesday, Sept. 23

5 p.m. — JC/BC

7 p.m. — Lil Hoojin

9 p.m. — Eoff Brothers

Thursday, Sept. 24

4 p.m. — Gary & John

6 p.m. — Red Ambition

8 p.m. — FOS Project

10 p.m. — Ben Miller Band

Friday, Sept. 25

Noon — Steve, Gene & Ron

2 p.m. — Robert Hatfield Band

3:30 p.m. — Kory Montgomery

5:15 p.m. — Leah & The Mojo Doctors

7 p.m. — Earl & Them

8:45 p.m. — Big Uns

10:30 p.m. — Full House

Saturday, Sept 26

12:30 p.m. — Gary & John

2:30 p.m. — Big Band Bubba

4:15 p.m. — T.J. Scarlett Band

6 p.m. — LaFuSo

7:45 p.m. — Joe Giles & the Homewreckers

9:15 p.m. — Oreo Blue

10:45 p.m. — Nace Brothers

Categories: Features