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Event Details

The NMC Barbecue is one of northern Michigan's most popular and enduring traditions. The annual event brings thousands of people to NMC's main campus for an old-fashioned picnic and a chance to see their community college.

Visit your community's college for the 63rd annual NMC BBQ! The 'Picnic Under the Pines' is Sunday, May 20 from 11 a.m.–5 p.m. on the Front St. campus of Northwestern Michigan College. Advance tickets through this page are only $6 plus a $1.25 online service fee. Tickets can be ordered individually, on behalf of a local business or organization, or in support of the Traverse Bay Area Intermediate School District (TBAISD).

Advance tickets can also be purchased for $6 in person on NMC's main campus at Founder's Hall (#8 on the main campus map) and in the Public Relations office in the Biederman Building (#6 on the main campus map). Tickets are $8 at the gate on the day of the event.

Ticket sales help support learning at the college through projects like these. Your entry includes a picnic lunch and many events and activities.

View and download a printable event program and map here »

Here are some of the fun events for your whole family:

  • Opening Ceremony (in front of the flag poles): 10:45 a.m.
    • Coast Guard to present Colors
    • National Anthem
  • Picnic Lunch: 11 a.m.
    • Menu: Buffalo burger or hot dog, beans, potato salad, coleslaw, relishes, ice cream, & beverages – all generously donated by Oleson’s Food Stores
    • Again this year: Compostable plates, cups and forks and composting of food waste.
    • Serving lines open at 11 a.m. after opening ceremony
  • Activities and Games
    • Free Activities: Inflatable obstacle courses; Traverse City Fire Department antique fire engine rides; ride Chip (the faux buffalo.)
    • Children's Book Readings at the Osterlin Library: Children’s book readings: Readings will take place every hour from 12:30-3:30 p.m., with a visit from the National Cherry Queen at 2:30 p.m.!
    • Classroom and Program Displays
    • Kid’s Games: Hair Painting, Skee Roll, Frog Launcher, Wheel of Fortune and more! Ticket purchase required
    • Cake Walk: Including a cupcake walk for kids! On the half an hour from 11:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. One lucky winner will receive a full size cake, while all other participants will receive a cupcake. Ticket purchase required
    • Popcorn and Cotton Candy Tent: Ticket purchase required
  • Live Music in front of Scholars Hall
  • Alumni tent
    • Alumni are invited to connect with the NMC Alumni Relations Program
    • Update your contact info for a chance to win a prize!
    • Visit with Nursing Program Alumni and purchase kayak raffle tickets (R46481)
  • Del Corner Veterans’ Tent
  • NMC Barbecue Invitational Car Show
  • NMC Martial Arts Clubs Demonstrations
  • Northwestern Michigan Orchid Society display in the Biederman Building

For large corporate orders please contact Paul Schoppe for mailing options via email at [email protected].

Read more about the event here, in a feature story from MyNorth.

Venue Information

Northwest Michigan College
1701 East Front Street
Traverse City, MI 49686

Organizer Information


1701 E. Front St
Traverse City, MI 49686
+1 (231) 995-1019

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