NMC BBQ: One of Northern Michigan’s Most Popular and Enduring Traditions

Bring your red-and-white checkered blanket to Traverse City for the annual NMC BBQ. The old-fashioned picnic brings thousands of people together for buffalo burgers, potato salad, ice cream, free activities, and more family fun. The 63rd annual barbecue is Sunday, May 20 from 11 a.m.–5 p.m. on the Front Street campus “under the pine trees.” Advance tickets are $7.25 and include the picnic lunch and many events and activities.

Get your tickets online at MyNorthTickets.com, and skip the line!

Here’s what to look forward to at the NMC BBQ:

Picnic Lunch

  • Buffalo burger or hot dog, beans, potato salad, coleslaw, relishes, ice cream & beverages
  • Again this year: Compostable plates, cups and forks and composting of food waste
  • Serving lines open at 11 a.m. after the opening ceremony

Activities & Games

  • Free activities: Inflatable obstacle courses; Traverse City Fire Department antique fire engine rides; ride Chip (the faux buffalo)
  • Children’s book readings: Noon, 1 p.m., 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. with special guest appearances!
  • Classroom and program displays
  • Kid’s games: hair painting, skee-roll, frog launcher, Wheel of Fortune, and more! Ticket purchase is required.
  • Cakewalk and a cupcake walk for kids! On the half 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 is required.
  • Popcorn and cotton candy tent: Ticket purchase is required.

Events for the Whole Family:

  • Live music
  • Alumni tent
  • Del Corner Veterans’ Tent
  • NMC Barbecue Invitational Car Show
  • NMC Martial Arts Club demonstrations
  • Quilt raffle: Benefit for students through the George C. Comden Alumni Scholarship Fund
  • Northwestern Michigan Orchid Society display

NMC BBQ Main Stage Entertainment

  • 10:45 a.m. – Opening Ceremony – Coast Guard to present Colors
  • 11 a.m.–noon – WNMC 90.7 Radio
  • Noon–1 p.m. – Blind Dog
  • 1:30 p.m. – Cherry Capital Men’s Choir
  • 2–2:30 p.m.  Karissa Bone
  • 2:30–3 p.m. – Sosi Mehren and Sofia Valdes
  • 3–4 p.m. – Patrick Niemisto
  • 4–5 p.m. – Jenny Thomas

More Traverse City Events