Traverse City: For the fifth year in a row, this year’s community picnic will feature a drawing for two years general tuition to NMC. Anyone who buys a ticket is eligible to enter. The prize winner will be drawn from all entrants at 5 p.m. on Barbecue Day. The offer  is good for 10 years and may be redeemed by anyone the winner chooses. Other ticket raffle prizes include gift certificates for Extended Education and College for Kids classes.

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 continues to donate the food. About 9,000 people attend every year, raising $1.5 million for college programs and equipment over the years.

For the third year in a row, the Barbecue will feature compostable utensils and plates and composting of food waste, all part of an effort towards making the Barbecue a zero-waste event.

In addition to the traditional menu of buffalo steakettes, baked beans, potato salad, coleslaw and ice cream, the schedule of events held from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. includes:

 •    11 a.m. – Presentation of the Colors, National Anthem, U.S. Coast Guard flyover  •    Free admission to the Dennos Museum Center
 •    College displays and classroom demonstrations
 •    Children’s games (Ticket purchase necessary)
 •    Buffalo cam – Meet Chip, NMC’s life size faux buffalo in person or streamed online
 •    Quilt raffle to benefit the George C. Comden Scholarship Fund. Drawing 4:30 p.m.
 •    Art department pottery sale  •    Greenhouse plant sale

WNMC 90.7 FM live broadcasts and live musical entertainment outside Scholars Hall:

 •    11 a.m.    Hip Hop Dance Demon  •    12 p.m.    Kingsley High School Jazz Band
 •    1:15 p.m.      Jim Crocket & Patrick Niemesto
 •    2:30 p.m.      M23 Strings  •    3:45 p.m.      The Wild Sullys

Services available to attendees include a baby care station and veterans’ tent.

Barbecue tickets are $6 in advance and $8 on Barbecue Day.

Tickets are available at:


Oleson’s Food Stores

Local financial institutions

Area elementary schools

Traverse City Convention and Visitors Bureau

Terrace Shopper

Holiday Shopper (Acme)

Cash Plus

For more information, call (231) 995-1020 or visit

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