Happy May 6th!!!  “Espero que hayan tenido un maravilloso cinco de mayo y que recuerde toda la diversión que usted tenía el consumo de grandes cantidades de cerveza, margaritas con cantidades masivas de patatas fritas y salsa. ( I hope you had a wonderful cinco de mayo and that you remember all the fun you had consuming large quantities of beer, margaritas with massive quantities of chips and salsa.)

The weather was absolutely perfect last weekend, so perfect that the city decided to host a huge “grilling out” festival. You could say that the city was “smok’n” as the 14th annual Whistle Stop BBQ festival, held at historic Huntsville Depot, was jammed packed with a record attendance. For individuals looking to sample the best that the southeast has to offer in competition BBQ, take in the sights and enjoy two evenings of exceptional music, there was no disappointment. With the air filled with the aromatic aromas of chicken and ribs cooking on the grills from over 138 professional and amateur teams, it would be difficult to choose a winner, but choose they do. With names like Why ya Grill’n Me Dawg, Bush League, Southern Stiles, The Basting Barristers, Smart Ash Smokers, What the Cluck, Up in Smoke and Bonnie Blue BBQ how could the variety and flavors of the cooked submissions not be as entertaining and flavorful. They even have a children’s competition where they are judged in age categories.


Competitions are as much about the camaraderie and mutual consumption of shared social libations as they are about the final product. It may be considered a southern tradition but there is no doubt that all those that cook and compete in BBQ competitions approach it with a spiritual feverish nature looking to walk away with a call, a place in the top and one of the prized Alabama state designed trophies. Of course it is also considered a badge of honor and frivolity to have your submission judged “DAL”, dead ass last!

With all the incredible bands scheduled to entertain over the weekend, you would have been hard pressed to make a decision on whom to be most excited to see. For me it was a home coming of sorts, the opportunity to see the Southern rock band, the Outlaws. The Outlaws are from my hometown Tampa, FL. My friends and I grew up listening to them and sneaking into one of our local haunts the Whippin Post.  To say the least, it had been a “few years” since I had the pleasure. To give you some idea, all of their music I have is on “vinyl”!  They are best known for their 3 and 4 part harmonies, their dual lead guitar riffs and the mega hit, “Green Grass and High Tides”. Watching them do their signature 4-guitar front stage performance took me back to my college days, at least those days I can remember.

All and all it was just another exceptional weekend and stellar event hosted by Early Works and the city of Huntsville. And where else, but in the south, could you go to watch a group of adult men and women vying for the grand title of  “Alabama Corn Hole Champion?”


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Best Regards …..
~ dennis keim ~