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story.lead_photo.caption Motorcyclists make their way along Dickson Street in Fayetteville on Saturday during the 18th annual Bikes, Blues & BBQ festival. - Photo by Andy Shupe

FAYETTEVILLE -- Police activity during Bikes, Blues & BBQ suggests mayhem was at a minimum considering the size, scale and reach of the festival, organizers say.

Fayetteville police arrested 16 people, mostly on suspicion of public intoxication or disorderly conduct, which are misdemeanor offenses. Most citations issued were for revving engines, according to a Fayetteville report.

Other agencies, including Rogers, made no arrests related to the rally. Rogers is home to Pig Trail Harley-Davidson, which hosts its own large event.

"It seems like everyone was responsible and had a good time," said Keith Foster, Rogers police spokesman.

The rally ran Wednesday through Saturday. Festival organizers anticipated 325,000 to 350,000 attendees for its 18th year but will look at tax receipts later to try to get a more accurate estimate, Executive Director Tommy Sisemore said.

"We're always proud whenever we have the ability to do an event and there's not a boat load of arrests," he said. "That's the name of the game. I think it speaks volumes to the patrons who come to town. They're just not troublemakers."

Police have reported for years most people who get arrested during the festival are from Northwest Arkansas. That continued this year.

Officers made 26 arrests at last year's rally.

Festival organizers became aware of an independent vendor selling jewelry depicting symbols related to Nazism. The vendor was asked to put the items away and won't be back next year, Sisemore said.

"We don't want this to become a bottom-feeder rally, by any stretch," he said. "My board is made up of some of the best businessmen and women in Fayetteville and Springdale that you can find. They understand once that genie comes out of the bottle you don't get it back in."

Fayetteville police handled nine motorcycle accidents, but none had significant injuries. Two motorcycle accidents were reported in Springdale.

Rogers, Springdale, Fayetteville and Benton County law enforcement officials reported few injury wrecks and no motorcycle thefts.

One motorcyclist died Wednesday in Madison County and another died Sunday in Newton County.

Randall Lee Howe, 65, of Charlotte, N.C., died at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday after he lost control of his 2004 Harley Davidson on Arkansas 23 in Madison County, according to an Arkansas State Police report.

Mark E. Einder, 62, of Pelsor died when he lost control of his 2003 Suzuki at 10:47 a.m. Sunday on Arkansas 123 just south of Mount Judea. Einder struck a ditch line, according to a police report.

NWA Democrat-Gazette reporter Scarlet Sims contributed to this article.

NW News on 09/26/2017

Print Headline: Peace kept at motorcycle rally, organizers say

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