Spin Doctors, Survivor playing at WhistleStop BBQ weekend

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - In less than two months, mouth-watering smells will be drifting from downtown Huntsville, as WhistleStop Bar-B-Que weekend returns for it's 18th year.

"It's your first weekend of really nice weather, hopefully," Clint Kirkland said. Kirkland is the lead singer for the band Dirt Circus.

Two full days of ribs, chicken and live bands in downtown Huntsville.

"By the time we finish a set, I'm ready to get off stage and try the food," Kirkland said.

"This is the time of year when people are thinking about summer travel, where they're going to take the kids on vacation," Kristen Pepper said. Pepper is the marketing manager for the Huntsville Madison County Convention and Visitors Bureau.

The popular prelude to summer is returning the first weekend in May. On Friday, WhistleStop organizers announced this year's lineup.

"Last year, we had Marshall Tucker Band and Gin Blossoms. This year, we'll have Spin Doctors and Survivor," Malarie McCleary said. McCleary is the special events coordinator for the EarlyWorks Children's History Museum.

"It's one of those events we hang our hat on," Pepper said.

WhistleStop being almost 20 years old, it's certainly big enough to draw a crowd and shut down traffic along Church and Monroe Street. Organizers say if the weather is good, they could draw 30,000 people during the two days. But there are challenges, including parking. The new Cumberland Presbyterian church being built means they're going to lose a few dozen more spaces this year.

"You've got professionals in here from Kansas City, this is one of their sanctioned events. And then you have locals cooking in the ShadeTree," Kirkland said.

Organizers are counting on a hungry crowd. Every person through the gate helps fund activities at EarlyWorks Children's Museum.

"Our museums are nonprofit and this is one of our biggest fundraisers," McCleary said.

WhistleStop happens May 4th and 5th. You can find information on how to get tickets at the WhistleStop website.