FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Bikes, Blues & BBQ has been an annual motorcycle rally in Northwest Arkansas for more than two decades, bringing hundreds of thousands of bikers to our area one weekend every fall.
A Fayetteville woman created a documentary titled "Hog Town" about the rally and its impact on the area, which will be screened on Saturday, Oct. 8.
It all started almost a decade ago when Raelyn Munneke and her family came to Fayetteville to visit ahead of moving to the area. Unknowingly the weekend they were visiting was Bikes, Blues & BBQ.
"We kind of experienced Bikes, Blues & BBQ. We were coming from Dallas everyone was telling us traffic was going to be awful," Munneke said.
"Once we moved here it was a continual curiosity growing as the town would shift on the weekend of Bikes, Blues and BBQ. And there were a lot of residents that didn’t like it and just a lot of interesting conversations around it," she said.
In 2017, Munneke began pulling out her camera and interviewing businesses, bikers and directors, and getting to know what the rally was all about and the impact it had on Fayetteville.
"Through all of that, it developed into this story that was the dichotomy of bikes, blues and Fayetteville and then how that is echoing the growth and the challenge with growth," she said.
Through all of her interviews, she isn’t surprised the rally moved a few miles north to Rogers.
"Fayetteville really made it difficult for the festival from what I could see and as I watched news. It was hard to see Fayetteville not receive the gift that the festival really was to the city," she said.
She says it has been a long process, but the timing of how everything worked out has been amazing for her.
"Following the steps of what has happened through the pandemic, the challenges of a festival in that time and then seeing it really transform to now it being in Rogers and the film really speaks to how it got there," Munneke said.
There will be two screenings of "Hog Town" at Victory Theater Saturday. The first is at 4 p.m. and the second is at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $5.
The documentary was screened at the Vail Film Festival in 2020. For those not able to make it to the screenings Saturday, the film will soon be released on a streaming platform that will be announced next week.
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