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article imagePhoto Essay: The Unusual Subjects at Bikes, Blues and BBQ Special

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By Kay Mathews     Oct 2, 2011 in Lifestyle
Fayetteville - Among the thousands of motorcycles and riders at the annual motorcycle event in Northwest Arkansas, there were a few that stood out from the pack and caught this photojournalist's eye.
Leather, boots, and bandanas belonging to bikers of all shapes and sizes, and bikes of all makes and models, were the norm at the 12th annual Bikes, Blues and BBQ motorcycle event. The Parade of Power provides a venue to showcase the riders and their motorcycles. However, during the Parade of Power some stood out and were just a bit more unique and colorful than others.
There was even a little monkey business going on. Some riders donned gorilla and bunny costumes, which set them apart from the crowd. And then there were the bikes themselves. Some had distinct, custom painting while others were tricked-out by their owners to make them unique.
Costumed riders during Parade of Power at Bikes  Blues and BBQ.  Fayetteville  Ark.  10-01-11
Costumed riders during Parade of Power at Bikes, Blues and BBQ. Fayetteville, Ark. 10-01-11
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BIKES
Bike with skull design at Bikes  Blues & BBQ.  Fayetteville  Ark.  10-01-11
Bike with skull design at Bikes, Blues & BBQ. Fayetteville, Ark. 10-01-11
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Chopper with unusual color and frame.  Bikes  Blues and BBQ.  Fayetteville  Ark.  10-01-11
Chopper with unusual color and frame. Bikes, Blues and BBQ. Fayetteville, Ark. 10-01-11
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Native American design on Harley Davidson.  Bikes  Blues and BBQ.  Fayetteville  Ark.  10-01-11
Native American design on Harley Davidson. Bikes, Blues and BBQ. Fayetteville, Ark. 10-01-11
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Valkyrie by Honda at Bikes  Blues & BBQ.  Fayetteville  Ark.  10-01-11
Valkyrie by Honda at Bikes, Blues & BBQ. Fayetteville, Ark. 10-01-11
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Beautiful bike and more monkeying around at Bikes  Blues and BBQ.  Fayetteville  Ark.  10-01-11
Beautiful bike and more monkeying around at Bikes, Blues and BBQ. Fayetteville, Ark. 10-01-11
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BIKES and RIDERS
Two-wheeled  three-wheeled  and four-wheeled bikes at Bikes  Blues and BBQ.  Fayetteville  Ark.  10-...
Two-wheeled, three-wheeled, and four-wheeled bikes at Bikes, Blues and BBQ. Fayetteville, Ark. 10-01-11
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Rider and his  uh  ride at Bikes  Blues & BBQ.  Fayetteville  Ark.  10-01-11
Rider and his, uh, ride at Bikes, Blues & BBQ. Fayetteville, Ark. 10-01-11
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This beautiful bike caught my eye as its driver steered it around a corner.  Bikes  Blues and BBQ.  ...
This beautiful bike caught my eye as its driver steered it around a corner. Bikes, Blues and BBQ. Fayetteville, Ark. 10-01-11
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Unique design on this Harley caught my eye.  Bikes  Blues and BBQ.  Parade of Power on Dickson Stree...
Unique design on this Harley caught my eye. Bikes, Blues and BBQ. Parade of Power on Dickson Street. Fayetteville, Ark.
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Stealth can-am at Bikes  Blues & BBQ.  Fayetteville  Ark. 10-01-11
Stealth can-am at Bikes, Blues & BBQ. Fayetteville, Ark. 10-01-11
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Unique bike at Bikes  Blues and BBQ.  Fayetteville  Ark. 10-01-11
Unique bike at Bikes, Blues and BBQ. Fayetteville, Ark. 10-01-11
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Rider on his colorful chopper during Parade of Power on Dickson Street at Bikes  Blues & BBQ.  Fayet...
Rider on his colorful chopper during Parade of Power on Dickson Street at Bikes, Blues & BBQ. Fayetteville, Ark. 10-01-11
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The 2010 Bikes, Blues and BBQ brought in a crowd of 425,000 people and this year that number is expected to rise. One reason the event continues to grow is due to bikers returning to the event year after year, organizers putting together more activities and bands at different venues, and the knowledge that some of the funds raised will go to local charities.
At the 2010 event, I photographed a rider whom I called "The Animal." He is one of thousands who return to the event each year. Because he was so memorable, this year I made a point of photographing him and his chopper. He growled at me and then grinned from ear to ear.
 The Animal  and his chopper at 2011 Bikes  Blues & BBQ.  Fayetteville  Ark.  10-01-11
"The Animal" and his chopper at 2011 Bikes, Blues & BBQ. Fayetteville, Ark. 10-01-11
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An  animal  on his chopper during Parade of Power on Dickson Street.  Bikes  Blues & BBQ.  Fayettevi...
An "animal" on his chopper during Parade of Power on Dickson Street. Bikes, Blues & BBQ. Fayetteville, Ark. Oct. 2, 2010.
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