For the seventh year in a row, the BBQ, Blues & Bikes festival is expected to lure thousands of people to downtown Elizabethtown.

The festival typically attracts 20,000 to 25,000 visitors to the area each year, Elizabethtown Heritage Council Executive Director Stacy Reynolds said, noting the festival, which is Saturday, has become a fun Memorial Day weekend experience for friends, families and tourists.

“We’re all getting that feeling it is going to be one of those good years,” he said, mentioning the variety of food and assortment of barbecue and the lineup of blues headliners such as Lisa Mann, Scotty Bratcher and Cha Wa. The first band, Austin Walkin’ Cane, hits the stage at 11:30 a.m.

“It’s more of the same. More bikes, more barbecue and ... more of a good time,” he added.

For motorcycle lovers, the Thunder Into E’town ride begins at 10 a.m. at American Legion Post 113. The fun continues in the afternoon with the bike show from 1 to 4 p.m. and a burnout contest. The first round of the burnout contest, sponsored by Wilson Cycles, is at 1 p.m.

So far, more than 200 bikers have registered for Thunder Into E’town, about 25 percent higher than where they were last year at this point, Reynolds said.

Preregistration for the ride costs $20 and ends at noon today. Registration and check-in is at American Legion Hardin Post 113 from 8 to 9:45 a.m. Saturday. On-site registration costs $25.

The festival again will partner with the Elizabethtown Fire Depart­­ment to donate a portion of the proceeds to the WHAS Crusade for Children.

Bike show registration is from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. at the Bike Booth at the corner of West Dixie Avenue and Mulberry Street by the Hardin County History Museum.

Reynolds said they sold out of vendor spots for the festival. There are 75 vendors, of which approximately 40 are food vendors, while the others include miscellaneous commercial vendors-crafts, handmade jewelery, metal works, sunglasses, barbecue supply vendors, information booths and not-for-profit booths.

The Stith Family Farms Backyard BBQ Contest, an amateur-only event sanctioned by the Kansas City BBQ Society, also is scheduled again this year.

There also will be a Kids’ Zone sponsored by Southeast Christian Church that is open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The festival will take place rain or shine, according to Reynolds.

For more information or to register for any of the events, go to bbqbluesfest.com.

Mary Alford can be reached at 270-505-1741 or malford@thenewsenterprise.com.

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