Instead of a foot of snow and a straight week of below-zero temperatures, it snowed about an inch a couple days ago and dropped down into the low 30s—which means it’s officially springtime in Chicago! And that means it’s officially time to open up voting for our Best of Chicago Readers’ Poll.

From off-Loop theater companies to doggie day cares to alternatives to the Lakefront path, this year’s Best of Chicago ballot has more categories to vote on than ever before. But don’t let that intimidate you: at any point you can stop, save your ballot from your phone or computer, and later sign back in wherever you are. That also means you can choose a winner for a category, change your mind, and enter a new winner. As indecisive as you might be, we’re not letting you waffle forever—May 12 is the last day we’re keeping ballots open.

We’re also asking you to vote for Chicago’s Best Chicagoan to Follow on Twitter . . . on Twitter. Tweet your suggestions using the hashtag #boctwitterer. (It’s the same hashtag we used last year, because we like to recycle our trash and our ideas.)

We’re even bribing you sweetening the deal with really good prizes. Periodically, we’ll be selecting voters to win cool stuff. We are not lying about the stuff being cool (click the image to magnify it):

We’ll also have voting booths at our 2014 Key Ingredient Cook-Off, and tickets are still available. So if you want to spend $65 to vote on Best of Chicago winners, that’s the place to do it (and there’s a lot of food and booze too). But we encourage you to vote early, because if you don’t, Tom Skilling says it will snow all summer long. OK, he didn’t say that, but you can’t trust everything the weatherman says. What you can trust is that Best of Chicago 2014 will be better than ever.

In case you missed the link up top, you can head right to the ballot here or vote at