Bikes, Babes & Bling to merge with Bikes, Blues & BBQ in 2012

Bikers ride in the 2011 Bikes, Babes & Bling parade on Dickson Street.

Photo: Todd Gill, Flyer staff

The two-year experiment by Bikes, Blues & BBQ organizers to hold a second summer bike rally targeted at women has come to an end.

Bikes, Babes & Bling, the off-shoot festival that began in 2010, will be consolidated with the original Bikes, Blues & BBQ rally beginning this fall.

Coleson Burns, who had served as event director for the fledgeling rally said the Bikes, Blues & BBQ board decided to make the move at their January meeting. A post on the Facebook page for the event served as the official announcement.

“It’s really about focusing our efforts on the one big event,” Burns told us. “I think both rallies suffered a little bit when we tried to do them both back-to-back, in terms of seeking vendors and sponsors. We feel like combining them will be better for everyone.”

The karaoke contest, the fashion show, and additional events geared toward women will be added to the Bikes, Blues & BBQ calendar, Burns said.

The rally will also focus on recruiting more vendors that carry motorcycle accessories for women.

“We’re not going to forget about the ladies, and that aspect isn’t going away,” he said. “We just feel like it makes more sense to have one big event.”

Bikes, Babes & Bling debuted in 2010 as an effort to capitalize on the growing female biker community. The event never really caught on, though, with sparse attendance at the initial rally in 2010, as well as at the 2011 event at the Washington County fairgrounds.

Bikes, Blues & BBQ, however, is a different story. The 12-year, annual event has grown to become one of the largest motorcycle rallies in the country.

This year’s festival is set for Sept. 26 – 29 in Fayetteville.