WhistleStop Weekend returns to the Rocket City

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — WhistleStop Weekend will make its way into the Rocket City again this year at a brand-new location.

The annual event, held to celebrate community and raise funds, will be held at Huntsville’s John Hunt Park on August 13-14, 2021. This year’s fundraiser will benefit education initiatives at the EarlyWorks Family of Museums.

In addition, barbecue competitors will also be “cooking for STEM” to raise funds that support science, technology, engineering, and mathematics programs at the museum.

“EarlyWorks is one of only a handful of children’s museums that bring STEM to the youngest learners,” said Bart Williams, executive director for EarlyWorks.

“We specialize in preschool through second grade — yes, we get kids that are older and some that can’t walk yet — but our specialty is giving informal education experiences to preschoolers which better prepares them for traditional classrooms which in turn makes them more successful.” Williams said in a press release.

Approximately 150 cookers are expected to compete between the Kansas City Barbeque Society’s sanctioned professional contest or the amateur ShadeTree Barbeque Cook-off.

This year, the public will have expanded tasting opportunities, including smoked wings and pulled pork.

“The WhistleStop Festival has always been a great time for people to get together with friends and hang out,” said Beth Goodwin, director of marketing for EarlyWorks. “There are so many people there that everybody knows — it’s like a big tailgate party — and that’s only going to get bigger down at John Hunt Park.”

If barbecue isn’t your thing, you can still arrive with an empty stomach — food trucks will be on hand with a variety of foods to choose from, including vegan options.

Tickets are $10 and for any more information, visit their website here.

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