Crowds line up for meals at the NMC Barbecue
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Get Your BBQ Tickets!

Tickets are now available online for the 59th annual NMC Barbecue, to be held Sunday, May 18, on NMC's main campus, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. More »

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BBQ Events and Menu

Enjoy a "picnic under the pines" with live entertainment, activities and lots of displays for family members of all ages.  More »

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BBQ-funded projects

The Barbecue has raised more than $1.5 million for 230 NMC programs and special projects. More »

2014 NMC Barbecue Quilt

A detail of the 2014 NMC Barbecue Quilt

Alumni quilt raffle »

The 2014 NMC Barbecue quilt, “Vines & Branches,” is a Bargello Quilt made by Bonnie King and quilted by Marty Beer. Proceeds from the raffle benefit NMC students through the George C. Comden Alumni Scholarship Fund. Learn more »

NMC Barbecue - May 18, 2014

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. For more information, call (231) 995-1020.

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 18, 2014
  • Sunday, May 17, 2015
  • Sunday, May 22, 2016

Barbecue Funding Proposals

NMC faculty and staff are invited to request funding support from the 2014 NMC Barbecue for an NMC special project. Funding proposals are due by noon on Friday, Jan, 31, 2014, and the forms and more information are available here:

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 Barbecue are kept out of a landfill. The Barbecue thanks the 40 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).



Percent of total

Plastic/Can Recycle
Grease Rendering
Coffee Grounds



volunteer »

This fantastic event would not be possible without our volunteers. We thank our volunteers for their time and energy to make the BBQ lots of fun for our attendees. Whether you're a seasoned volunteer or a newcomer, we're happy to have you join us! This year we are proud to announce our new online sign-up for BBQ volunteers. Browse our shifts and choose the one(s) you would enjoy. Also new this year: Receive a commemorative t-shirt for helping out. Wear it with BBQ pride during your shift and throughout the year!

2013 barbecue photo gallery »

Barbecue Videos »