Smoked meat season is back as spring kicks off cookouts and May marks National Barbecue Month.

Celebrate at annual competitions, cook-offs and festivals across the country, from the International Bar-B-Q Festival in Kentucky to the World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest in Tennessee. America’s pitmasters, barbecue restaurants, chefs and smoking specialists are ready for taste tests. From ribfests to smokeouts and block parties, there’s a barbecue battle or bash for you this spring and summer — and a few with beer or bourbon pairings.

See the photos above for barbecue events and festivals through October, plus some of the best ‘que showcased in NYC below.

The annual Windy City Smokeout returns to Chicago, July 13-15. Expect 20 pitmasters, 25 breweries and live music at 560 W Grand Ave. courtesy of Windy City Smokeout