Shelley Swaffer and Robin Sephers traveled from Cookeville, Tennessee, to Elizabethtown this weekend for one thing – the musical acts of the BBQ, Blues & Bikes festival.
Swaffer, originally from Portland, Oregon, has known performer Lisa Mann, who performed on the Cherry Lot Stage, for more than 20 years. Mann also is from Portland.
Swaffer said Saturday was her first time attending BBQ, Blues & Bikes.
“I didn’t even know it was here until I saw on her (Mann’s) tour schedule that she was coming this way,” she said. “It was the closest she was coming to where I live. ... So we hopped in the car and here we are.”
Swaffer said she was also excited for Selwyn Birchwood’s performance.
Along with the music, the food is a big draw for many at the festival. One of the many tastes available was corn on a stick, which Kerah Haire, 7, bit into with enjoyment.
Elizabethtown resident Chris Hammons, who has attended the festival in the past, said this was Kerah’s first time attending the event. Hammons said he comes just to enjoy “some barbecue, blues and bikes.”
Tandy Chenault of Shelbyville drove in Saturday with the Last Days Motorcycle Ministry. He said this was about his third time attending the festival.
“I like seeing all the people and all the different kinds of bikes and just seeing everything,” he said.
Chenault, who has been riding motorcycles for around 50 years, also was able to reconnect Saturday with his friends Robert and Tamara Douglas of Elizabethtown. He and Robert began riding motorcycles together around 10 years ago.
Tamara said it is cool how the event encompasses all ages.
The festival, which in the past has attracted 20,000 to 25,000 to downtown, featured the Thunder Into E’town ride, which began at American Legion Post 113 and included more than 200 participants, a bike show and a burnout contest.
Organizers also partnered with the Elizabethtown Fire Department to donate a portion of proceeds from the event to the WHAS Crusade for Children.