This is an FYI for Michiganders and our neighbors:
Last weekend, in Grand Rapids, we had a meeting to organize a BBQ association here in Michigan. Harvey, who runs the Canadian barbecue forum http://www.bbqtalk.ca/forums/ has graciously given us, the Great Lakes Barbecue Association, a spot on BBQtalk.ca.
Our goals, at present are to promote outdoor cooking, organize some fun cooks (maybe a first one in Eagle, in May), information sharing, and some educational opportunities. One of my personal goals is to breathe new life into the annual Outdoor Turkey Cooking Competition, a fundraiser for Toys for Tots, which takes place in late October or early November each year. It began at the Outdoor Cook in Rockford a number of years ago and relocated when the store closed. It's a fun event, especially for me because I won it so many times that now I judge and teach turkey grilling classes.
Further, there is a KCBS judging class here in GR in March :
Dr. BBQ/Ray Lampe's class in April http://www.drbbq.com/drbbqclass.html in Detroit;
and the Canadian BBQ Championship in July http://www.canadianbarbecueassociation.com/
We'd love to have you join us!