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Huntsville’s Battle of the Barbecue

Submitted by on August 12, 2022 – 12:40 amNo Comment

Whistlestop Weekend, Huntsville, Alabama, is a battle of the barbecueMore than 100 barbecue experts and connoisseurs are expected next month for the return of WhistleStop, a two-day battle of the barbecue. Set for September 9 and 10, 2022, in John Hunt Park, Huntsville, Alabama, the event invites professional and amateur grill masters to show off their BBQ expertise.

WhistleStop 2022 offers a menu of music, barbecue, and fun in a tailgate atmosphere. The barbecue competition features a professional division sanctioned by Kansas City Barbeque Society; the Shadetree (amateur) division, judged by certified judges; and a WhistleStop Wing Thing where the public decides the winner. Amateurs will serve up chicken and ribs, while the professionals will showcase their best chicken, pork, ribs, and beef brisket to see who will be proclaimed the winner. Kansas City BBQ Society Awards will be presented at 4:30 p.m. September 10 with Shadetree BBQ awards following at 8:30 p.m.

Many of the backyard cooking teams competing in the Shadetree competition will have samples available for tasting. Everyone attending WhistleStop September 10 between 12 p.m. and 2 p.m. will have a chance to vote for their favorite where $1 equals one vote. Participating teams will have a sign at their cook site.

In addition to the barbecue competition, this year the festival will offer a new non-competition tailgate spot for groups that just want to come out and enjoy the atmosphere. Set up like a huge outdoor sports bar, the Tailgate Throwdown Zone will have three super-sized LED screens showing football games throughout the day and night. There will also be live music beginning at 5 p.m. both nights, classic cars on display, food trucks for those who prefer other food options, and the Family Fun Zone, featuring an inflatable bounce house and the EarlyWorks STEM Tinker Tent filled with an array of hands-on activities. This area is included in the festival admission.

Whistlestop Tasting Tent

For the first time in festival history, visitors can upgrade their general admission tickets and have access to the new WhistleStop Tasting Tent. The Tasting Tent upgrade includes exclusive access to the Tasting Tent area, along with special samplings of craft spirits, local beers, and select wines. Throughout the course of the festival, Tasting Tent patrons will also be treated to a sampling of smoke-inspired small-bites. The Tasting Tent will be open September 9 from 8 to 10:30 p.m. and the next day from 11a.m. to 10:30 p.m. Only a limited number of upgrades are available. Cost is $10/person September 9 and $20/person September 10.

Another public tasting will be available from 6 to 7:30 p.m. September 9 with the Wing Thing competition where festivalgoers will choose the winner of the best chicken wings. Tickets are $10 and include 10 wings and a soft drink.

All activities take place in John Hunt Park, 2151 Airport Road Southwest, Huntsville. Festival hours are 4 to 11 p.m. September 9 and 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. September 10. Admission per person is $10 per day. Tickets may be purchased in advance online. Parking is provided on the north side of the festival grounds and is $5 per car or $25 for an RV.

Serving as the principal fundraising event for the EarlyWorks Family of Museums, the Festival’s proceeds support the expansion of the Museum’s STEM education initiative.

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