Our family couldn't wait. The winter was long - some might say torturous - so at the very first sign of decent weather we went outside and cooked on the grill. A friend of mine co-hosts a barbecue show, and his show has decided that the time change should officially mark the start of grilling season. I think that's a great (or grate?) idea. In June, the Quincy Knights of Columbus will host the Smokin Good Times BBQ Challenge, so if you haven't done any outdoor cooking, you'll want to start practicing soon. Thousands of dollars are up for grabs! 

The Smokin' Good Times BBQ Challenge will award cash prizes for first through fifth place in each category, and overall. The total purse for the contest is $6,000, and the grand champion will receive $1500! Ribbons will be awarded for first through tenth place in each category. The contest is scheduled for June 20 and 21, 2014.

The entry fee is $225 for a 40 x 20 space. Entries will be limited to the first 50, so you'll want to register early. Entry forms must be postmarked no later than June 14.

Spaces include 20 amp electric, and the competition will feature all KCBS (Kansas City BBQ Society) categories.

If you have questions, contact Phil Haxel at 217-653-4614, or Terry Bower at 217-242-4111. The entry form for the Smokin' Good Times BBQ Challenge is available at the Quincy Knights of Columbus website.