ROGERS, Ark. — With Bikes, Blues and BBQ canceled, bikers are looking for alternative venues for this week. A couple of events are scheduled in Northwest Arkansas to cater to the groups that reserved trips a year in advance.
COVID-19 forced organizers of Bikes, Blues and BBQ to cancel the annual event for this year. Now, a couple of alternative biker events are scheduled to take place this weekend, bringing thousands to Northwest Arkansas.
“They book their rooms, their campgrounds, the Airbnb’s a year in advance for taking time off work in Northwest Arkansas,” said Alan Shaffer, owner of Smoke & Barrel on Dickson Street.
Shaffer says his bar will be ready for more patrons, but they will not be able to host any concerts.
Other venues are scheduled for large crowds and music.
The Arkansas Department of Health (ADH) is still reviewing some recent changes to its plans. 5NEWS received the following comment about the motorcycle rallies in Northwest Arkansas:
“There are currently no travel restrictions for visitors to Arkansas and no quarantine in place for people traveling from other states. However, any event with more than 100 people is required to have a plan submitted to ADH for approval.”
Shaffer says he hopes for a good time this week at his Fayetteville bar, but tells bikers to expect to follow the state’s health guidelines.
“I hope all the guys come to realize that Arkansas mandates are what they are, and we are obligated to enforce those,” Shaffer said.
The Steel Hores Rally in Fort Smith also postponed its event for this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.