Thousands come out for 63rd annual NMC BBQ

The Northwestern Michigan College BBQ welcomed more than 5,500 on Sunday.

GRAND TRAVERSE COUNTY, Mich., (WPBN/WGTU) -- Plates were filled and faces were stuffed at the 63rd annual barbecue at Northwestern Michigan College on Sunday.

More than 5,500 attended this year's BBQ, a fundraiser for the college and a Traverse City tradition.

"In the early days I've been told they would close the restaurants and just put up a sign that said 'Go to the barbecue,'" said NMC president Timothy Nelson. "That doesn't happen anymore, but as you see, we will have thousands of people here over a five and a half hour span. They see our facilities and hopefully make some new friends and find out things about the college they didn't know before."

This year, five projects will receive the proceeds from the barbecue's ticket sales:

  • NMC Scholarship Open - $5,000
  • Media Center for the Smith Wing of Inuit Art (Dennos Museum Center) - $3,000
  • Hawk owl mascot costume - $2,000
  • Neutr-Owl (carbon neutral education booth for NMC BBQ) - $1,000
  • NMC food pantry freezer and food for fall semester - $2,400

More than 500 volunteers make the event possible by preparing the food or working one of the several other activities at the barbecue.

The barbecue is a chance for locals to celebrate together before the summer comes and the tourists come with it.

"It's the families, the children, the people that live right here in Traverse City and in the probably four or five county neighborhood," said Nancy Zimmer, a volunteer at the BBQ. "We can all be together and celebrate hopefully the start of a nice summer season."

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