Whistlestop 2015 gets chefs of all ages involved

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) - More than 150 pro and amateur competitors had their grills and glazes going for Whistlestop 2015.

For some, it was a family tradition.

"My grandpa has always done BBQ," said Grayson Watson. "He's been here all 15 years, he's the only one here this weekend whose been here all 15 years."

For others, its a corporate thing.

"We compete because we enjoy cooking, and try to do as well as we can while supporting a good cause," said Derek Johns, competing with the Venturi 'The Pig Easy' team.

That cause is Earlyworks Children's Museum.

No matter what brought you there, it wasn't a game for competitors. There were hours of prep.

"We start that Friday night and fire up the smoker 3:45 Saturday morning and turn in our boxes between 12 and 1:30 [Saturday afternoon]," said Johns.

From rides to a state cornhole tournament, organizers call this the biggest year yet -- down to pro contests that get tomorrow's chefs involved.

"We have the Kids-Q competition where kids 8-12 are allowed to compete," explained spokeswoman Beth Goodwin.

The weather, and entertainment, headlined by Kansas, brought the foot traffic.

For competitors, both pro and amateur, the reason to participate is simple.

"It's bragging rights," said amateur competitor Todd Kinley. "You get these plaques, you get to show them off. You get 1st place out of fifty, it means you know what you're doing."

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