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story.lead_photo.caption NWA Democrat-Gazette/CHARLIE KAIJO Wally, the marmoset monkey, rests Saturday on the shoulder of Sheryl Millard as she and Tom Millard of Rogers detail their ’86 Chevrolet Camaro Z-28 at the Arvest Ballpark in Springdale. The Arvest Ballpark hosted the Bikes, Blues & BBQ car show. For more about the rally, go to nwadg.com/bbb/.

SPRINGDALE -- Northwest Arkansas families and bikers from near and far strolled through the rows of more than 200 vehicles on display as heat radiated from the asphalt Saturday at the Arvest Ballpark.

NWA Democrat-Gazette/CHARLIE KAIJO August Wagner and Greyson Wagner, 5, of Bella Vista (right) ride a helicopter Saturday at the Arvest Ballpark in Springdale.
NWA Democrat-Gazette/CHARLIE KAIJO Jim Graves of Clarksville details his ’76 Chevrolet Camaro parked Saturday next to a ’65 Chevrolet Corvette at the Arvest Ballpark in Springdale. He has entered his car into the car show three times. “They’re never really finished,” he said of the improvements he could make on his car. “You could always find something to be done a little better.”

Car enthusiasts excitedly shared engine details with passersby and chatting with fellow drivers as if they were at a family reunion.

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

This first official venue outside of Fayetteville has grown from a two-day event to a four-day affair with plenty to do.

"This is much better than last year," said Mike Griffith, a staff member. "We've had much better attendance and certainly more vendors." They're hoping for 50,000 people this year and "the parking lot is full," he said.

Those looking to escape the packed crowds and long-distance parking of the main rally hub could also shop around for biker apparel and parts at the 25 vendor booths or find shaded seating and enjoy a turkey leg or pulled pork sandwich with a cold beverage 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 from Bella Vista who was showing off his red 2013 Chevrolet Corvette.

Other new attractions included a demo truck with new Harley-Davidson models available for test ride and the latest models from Everett Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram Fiat. Full Throttle Stunt Riders put on a high-energy show both in the morning Saturday and the afternoon.

Most of the the drivers who entered their cars into the showing live around Northwest Arkansas area, but others have come from surrounding states and as far as Toronto.

There are 28 classes that the customs, street rods, vintage treasures, rat rods and other rides could place in. Some cars have shown up year after year, but Griffith said there was also good turnover with new rides this year.

"Some of the finest of Northwest Arkansas are here," he said.

Those who won first in a class went on to compete in the seven "best of" categories, including best engine, best paint and directors choice. However, most the competitors didn't seem concerned about who wins what.

"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 from Rogers said. "That's better than any trophy. And it's for a really good cause."

NW News on 09/24/2017

Print Headline: Springdale car show attendance revs up

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