Skip to main content
Crowds line up for meals at the NMC Barbecue
Virtual BBQ image
Thank you for coming to the 2020 Virtual BBQ!

The virtual event was held May 15–30.  More »

Trio image 2
2019 BBQ Events and Menu

Attendees enjoyed live musical entertainment, children's activities and displays for all ages.  More »

Trio image 3
BBQ-Funded Projects

Proceeds from the NMC Barbecue help fund special projects at NMC. View past Barbecue-funded projects here.  More »

NMC Barbecue

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, with nearly 4,000 people turning out to attend the 64th annual barbecue in 2019.

The late Gerald W. Oleson and his wife Frances, founders of Oleson’s Food Stores in Traverse City, started the annual fundraiser picnic in 1956. Oleson’s Food Stores continue to donate the food, and hundreds of volunteers turn out to make the event happen.

When is the Barbecue?

The Barbecue is always on the Sunday before Memorial Day Weekend — 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. To plan ahead for future NMC Barbecues, save these dates on your calendar:

  • Sunday, May 23, 2021
  • Sunday, May 22, 2022

2019 Barbecue Photo Gallery »

Barbecue Videos »

Zero waste event

In 2010, the Barbecue Board made a commitment to become a zero-waste event through extensive use of recycling and composting. More than 90 percent of the residuals from the 2011 Barbecue were kept out of a landfill, and by the 2014 Barbecue, that figure had increased to more than 99 percent. The Barbecue thanks the dozens of volunteers who helped guests properly dispose of their materials at recycling/composting stations around campus, and partners American Waste (recycling, equipment), Food for Thought (composting) and Rentals Unlimited (equipment).

Section Navigation Community Resources