HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHN)T – WhistleStop is back in town with barbeque and some new perks for attendees.

The annual event will help raise funds for education initiatives at the EarlyWorks Children’s Museum on Friday, September 9 and Saturday, September 10.

“The money raised by WhistleStop festival has always gone to the education initiatives at Early Works, but now we have more of a focused approach that’s all going toward STEM improvements we’re making at the museum,” said Beth Goodwin, the EarlyWorks Director of Marketing.

Around 110 cookers from 15 different states are expected to compete in either the Kansas City Barbeque Society’s sanctioned professional competition or the amateur ShadeTree Barbeque Cook-off. In the amateur competition, cookers will show off their chicken and ribs while the pros will showcase their best chicken, pork, ribs, and beef brisket.

“Please come out and be hungry,” said Scott Wagnon an amateur cook team member. “We hope to see a lot of people.”

For those really feeling BBQ this year, general admission tickets can be upgraded to include the Tasting Tent. The new area will allow visitors access to samplings of smoke-inspired small-bites, craft spirits, local beer, and select wines.

Visitors at the event craving something other than BBQ can take advantage of food trucks on site that will have a variety of menu options.

Besides food, WhistleStop will also feature a tent called The Tail Gate Zone, showing all the big games and another area will live music will play throughout the weekend. The Hot Grills Car Show starts at 10 a.m. Saturday with the winners of Best of Show, Crowd Favorite and Chairman’s Choice announced at 1:30 p.m.

The festivities at John Hunt Park (2151 Airport Road SW, Huntsville) start at 4 p.m. Friday and will go through 11 p.m. Saturday’s event will be an all-day affair, from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Tickets are $10 per day, those can be purchased at the WhistleStop Weekend website. Parking behind Joe Davis Stadium will be $5.

Road Closures around Joe Davis Stadium during WhistleStop (courtesy Huntsville Police)

Huntsville Police will be on site all weekend helping to direct traffic. Several Roads will be closed around John Hunt Park. Jaycee Way will be closed from Phillip Dotts Drive south of the Jaycee Building and Steve Hettinger Drive will be closed west of the museum entrance to Jaycee Way.

Drivers will need to enter John Hunt Park from the SB Memorial Parkway Frontage Road, turning onto Don Mincher Drive (in front of the Joe Davis Stadium marquee) and continuing toward Airport Road.

Drivers exiting can exit onto SB Memorial Parkway or onto Leeman Ferry Road.