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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 64th annual NMC BBQ! The 'Picnic Under the Pines' is Sunday, May 19 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 at all Oleson's Food Stores, on NMC's main campus at Founder's Hall (#8 on the main campus map) and at many financial institutions. 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.

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

View a map of NMC's main campus here.

View / download a printable program and map »

10:45 a.m. Opening Ceremony (in front of the flag poles)

  • Coast Guard to present Colors
  • National Anthem sung by Bailey Judson
  • Serving lines open at 11 a.m.

11 a.m. Picnic Lunch

  • Menu: Buffalo burger or hot dog, beans, potato salad, coleslaw, relishes, ice cream sandwiches & beverages – all generously donated by Oleson’s Food Stores.
  • Again this year: Compostable plates, cups and forks and composting of food waste. Volunteers help patrons properly dispose of used items. Help make the Barbecue a zero-waste event.
  • What does the whistle mean? You’ll hear a long whistle for every 1,000 patrons and a short whistle for every 100 patrons who move through the serving lines.

Schedule

  • DENNOS MUSEUM CENTER
    • Bonsai display in sculpture court
    • All galleries open
  • LIVE ENTERTAINMENT
    • 11 a.m.–1 p.m.: Head for the Hills (Live from the NMC BBQ)
    • 1–2 p.m.: North Carolines (bluegrass harmony duo)
    • 2–3 p.m.: Little Graves
    • 3–3:30 p.m.: Background Music for transition
    • 3:30–4 p.m.: Cherry Capital Men’s Chorus
    • 4–5 p.m.: Music
  • OSTERLIN BUILDING
    • Library open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
    • Children’s book readings: Llama Llama book series. The National Cherry Queen will read aloud at 1 p.m. and 2 p.m.
    • Kids Craft Table for decorating bookmarks from noon to 4 p.m.
  • OLESON MODEL AA TRUCK
    • Q&A with one of the truck restorers
  • TANIS BUILDING (outdoors, west & south sides)
    • Opening Ceremony: 10:45 a.m.
    • Announcer’s Tent: Information; Security; Lost & Found; First Aid
    • BBQ Volunteer Tent
    • NMC Program Tent:
      • Extended Education and College for Kids
      • Great Lakes Water Studies Institute—Grand Traverse Freshwater Society and Freshwater Studies
      • Neutr-Owl (carbon neutral education booth for NMC BBQ)
      • Women of Aviation
    • 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 (R52567)
      • Smile for the Alumni-sponsored photo booth!
  • CHIP, THE FAUX BUFFALO & LIVE “BUFFALOCAM”
  • CHILDREN’S ACTIVITIES
    Purchase tickets for all activities at the nearby booth
    • Cake and cupcake walk: Cakes supplied by NMC's Great Lakes Culinary Institute, TBAISD Culinary students and Oleson’s Food Stores
    • Cotton candy and popcorn
    • Demonstrations: NMC Tae Kwon Do Club, 1-3 p.m.
    • Games: Frog Launcher, Wheel of Fortune, Plinko Board, Pop Toss, Lollipop Tree, Duck Pond, Bounce House and more
    • Red Cross
      • Build disaster kits and have an evacuation plan for home fires
      • Wheel of Disaster for Kids
  • BABY CARE STATION
    • Courtesy of TBAISD
  • BIEDERMAN BUILDING
    • Northern Michigan Orchid Society display in atrium
  • TAMARACK PARKING LOT
    • Antique Firetruck Rides
    • Automotive Technology/Barney Ride debut
    • NMC Barbecue Invitational Car Show: Vote for the People’s Choice Award!
    • Free activities provided by Michigan Army National Guard: Inflatable attractions and more!
  • HEALTH & SCIENCE BUILDING
    • Chemistry Laboratory HS 215, 11 a.m.-3 p.m.
    • Dental Lab HS 110 & 112, 11 a.m.-2 p.m.
    • Grand Traverse Astronomical Society, 11 a.m.-4 p.m.
      • Classroom displays in HS 114 & 116
      • Telescopes set up outside of north entrance (weather permitting)
    • Physics Laboratory HS 211, 1-4 p.m.
    • Biology classroom display HS 111 & 117, 1-4 p.m.
    • NMC Student Green Team benefit plant sale, 1-4 p.m. (or until sold out)
    • Bookstore sale, logo gear and apparel, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
  • EAST HALL HOUSING TOURS
    • Housing open for tours, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
  • NORTH HALL HOUSING TOURS
    • Housing open for tours, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
  • SHIRLEY OKERSTROM FINE ARTS BUILDING
    • First Annual Printmaking Sale, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
      • Purchase student prints produced during the 2019 Spring Semester!
    • Printmaking Demo
  • DEL CORNER VETERANS’ LUNCH TENT
    • Special needs BBQ seating

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

1701 E Front
Traverse City , MI 49686
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Organizer Information

NMC BBQ


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

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