CONTACT: Alabama Mountain Lakes Tourist Association
PHONE: 256.350.3500 / 800.648.5381

A Smokin’ Good Time in the Rocket City May 5-6

Decatur, Ala. – A blend of music, barbeque, and fun bringing together barbeque connoisseurs to downtown Huntsville is set for the first weekend in May. WhistleStop Weekend returns May 5-6, 2017, offering a weekend of live music, barbeque samples, a corn hole tournament, a wing cook-off, professional and amateur barbeque competitions and a chili cook-off.

Each year WhistleStop Weekend transforms the downtown area into a playground for barbeque connoisseurs as the aroma of slow-cooked barbeque fills the air. The barbeque cook-off contains three divisions: a professional division sanctioned by Kansas City Barbeque Society, the Kid’s Q for children 8 to 14 years old, and the Shade Tree (amateur) division. Introduced in 2016, the Alabama Chili Championship, sanctioned by the Chili Appreciation Society International (CASI), and the Rocket City Chili Championship (Open) is set to return in 2017. The top three winning CASI cooks qualify for the 2017 Terlingua International Chili Championship (TICC) in November held in Terlingua, Texas.

Festivalgoers have three opportunities to vote for their favorite team. From 6 to 7:30 p.m. on Friday, May 5th, the public decides the winner of the Wing Thing contest (nominal fee to sample and vote). From 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, May 6th, chili samples will be available for festival goers to select their favorite chili and from 1 to 3 p.m., festival goers can visit the backyard cooking teams who will be offering samples for the People’s Choice Awards. Festivalgoers vote for their favorite by placing money in a jar provided at the cook-site. The team with the most money will be presented with the People’s Choice Award during the awards presentations at 8:15 p.m. on the main stage.

The Alabama Cornhole Championship gets underway at 8 p.m. on Friday, May 5th with play beginning at 12 p.m. (singles) and 5 p.m. (doubles) on Saturday, May 6th.  A total prize purse of $1500 is up for grabs. The live music is just as smokin’ as the barbeque and the 2017 lineup includes Friday’s headliner Gin Blossoms with special guest The Rembrandts and Saturday’s headliner The Marshall Tucker Band.

All activities take place on the grounds of the Historic Huntsville Depot located at 320 Church Street. Festival hours are Friday 4 to 11 p.m. and Saturday 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. Admission per person (ages 11+) is $25 and youth (ages 3-10 years old) is $5 or a weekend pass is available for $35/ages 11+ and $10/ages 3-10 years old. All proceeds benefit EarlyWorks Children’s Museum and educational programs for area children. For more information, visit or call 256.564.8100.

About Alabama Mountain Lakes Tourist Association (AMLA)
AMLA is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the promotion and development of the travel industry within the 16 northernmost counties of the state.  It is supported by 500-plus members consisting of chambers of commerce, Convention & Visitors Bureaus, attractions, campgrounds, festivals, communities, counties, golf courses, restaurants, tour operators, accommodations, vendors, financial institutions and individuals.  Counties included within the AMLA region are Blount, Cherokee, Colbert, Cullman, DeKalb, Etowah, Franklin, Jackson, Lauderdale, Lawrence, Limestone, Madison, Marion, Marshall, Morgan and Winston. Additional information on North Alabama destinations, accommodations and special events is available by calling 800.648.5381 or by visiting