With this year’s Bakken BBQ as a celebration of first responders, local area emergency departments will roll up their sleeves to claim the much-coveted trophy and ultimate bragging rights for the best barbeque this side of the Missouri River.

The 9th Annual Bakken BBQ returns to Dickinson from 4 to 10 p.m. June 18, at the West River Ice Center. From an all-you-can-eat-grub buffet, a total of 38 companies have signed up to cook so far.

“So this year’s Bakken BBQ is going to be our biggest year yet,” Bakken Co-founder Jackie Jenkin said. “... We have some exciting people coming in to judge the food this year… and just paying tribute to the first responders. So I think all in all, this year is going to be amazing and we’re so excited for the public to be there. We’re excited for all the companies to be there and participate. So I’m just really looking forward to it.”

The family-friendly night will feature raffle tickets with more than $20,000 in prizes for $10 a ticket, a live auction, bull riding as well as a kiddy corner with face painting, jumping castles and games. Mavericks Saloon will provide a beer garden, where adult attendees can purchase alcoholic beverages.

In 2020, the Bakken BBQ raised approximately $80,000 for Make-A-Wish North Dakota. The Bakken BBQ Committee also gave an additional $6,000 to three other charities in Dickinson. Bakken Co-founder Tiffany Steiner noted it’s an event that’s centered for the community.

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“... By coming to this family-friendly event, you’re also getting back to where we live, work and support our community that way. We give wishes back to kids in this community, plus we give back to other local area charities,” Steiner said.

An aerial view of the Bakken BBQ in Dickinson is pictured. The 2021 Bakken BBQ set for June 18 will be in celebration of first responders. (Dickinson Press File Photo)
An aerial view of the Bakken BBQ in Dickinson is pictured. The 2021 Bakken BBQ set for June 18 will be in celebration of first responders. (Dickinson Press File Photo)

Six local emergency departments will participate including the Dickinson Police Department, Stark County Sheriff’s Office, Dunn County Sheriff’s Department, Sanford AirMed, Dickinson Rural Fire Department Dive and Rescue and the Dickinson Fire Department. DFD Fire Inspector Tyler Tucker said that the department is more than excited to be a part of this event for the first time.

“It’s always cool to be involved in the community. I know a lot of us in the department enjoy events like this just because we like being out there and giving back as much as we can,” Tucker said. “Giving back is pretty important when you’re a first responder because that’s why you do it.”

Though all cooking participants will be vying for the “moral victory,” Tucker noted the Bakken BBQ’s cause is something that the fire department highly supports, as a few of its members have nieces and nephews that were granted wishes through the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

Tickets are available for purchase before or at the event and are $20 for adults, $10 for children nine to 15 years old and free for children eight years old and under. For more information, call 701-260-89285 or visit the Bakken BBQ Facebook page.