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

Huntsville’s Battle of the Barbeque August 13-14
WhistleStop 2021 Returns Next Month in a New Location 

Decatur, Ala. – Over 150 barbeque experts and connoisseurs are expected next month for the return of WhistleStop, Huntsville’s two-day battle of the barbeque. Set for August 13-14, 2021, the event invites professional and amateur grill masters to show off their barbeque expertise as festival goers experience the excitement of a cook-off along with live music, food trucks and tasting opportunities.

WhistleStop 2021 offers a menu of music, barbeque and fun in a tailgate atmosphere and this year’s event will take place at John Hunt Park in Huntsville. The barbeque competition features a professional division sanctioned by Kansas City Barbeque Society; the Shadetree (amateur) division, now 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. on Saturday with Shadetree BBQ awards following at 8:30 p.m. Many of the backyard cooking teams competing in the Shadetree competition will have Boston butt samples available for tasting. Participating teams will be flying a flag at their cook site.

Another new aspect of the 2021 event is the Mayor’s Cup competition as part of People's Choice. Everyone attending WhistleStop on Saturday between 12 p.m. and 2 p.m. will have a chance to "put your money where your mouth is."  In addition to the traditional People's Choice competition where festivalgoers can vote for their favorite by placing coins or cash in the jar provided at the cook-site, everyone will receive tokens when purchasing their tickets. While money will still be used to determine the People's Choice winners, the true favorites will receive tokens from festivalgoers. The team with the most tokens will take home the Mayor’s Cup and the team with the most money will be announced as the People's Choice Award winner during the awards presentations at 8:15 p.m. on the main stage.

Another public tasting will be available on Friday from 6 to 7:30 p.m. with the Wing Thing competition where festivalgoers will choose the winner of the best chicken wings.

In addition to the barbeque competition, there will be live music featuring national touring tribute bands and local acts with tributes to Santana, Doobie Brothers, Tom Petty and Lynyrd Skynyrd and food trucks for those who prefer other food options.

All activities take place at John Hunt Park located at 2151 Airport Road Southwest in Huntsville.
Festival hours are Friday 4 to 11 p.m. and Saturday 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. Admission per person (ages 11+) is $10 per day. Serving as the principle fundraising event for the EarlyWorks Family of Museums, the Festival’s proceeds support the expansion of the Museum’s STEM education initiative. 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