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'Party of the Decades': Bakken BBQ marks 10 years giving back to Make-A-Wish North Dakota

“The first year, it took six weeks and we had raised $50,000. So I think we knew there was something there because we wouldn’t have been able to do that without the companies and sponsors and they just stepped right up," Bakken BBQ Co-Founder Tiffany Steiner said.

The 10th Annual Bakken BBQ will take place from 4 to 10 p.m. Friday, June 17, 2022, at the West River Ice Center parking lot and will feature 46 different companies cooking for an all-you-can-eat buffet that goes toward Make-A-Wish North Dakota.
The 10th Annual Bakken BBQ will take place from 4 to 10 p.m. Friday, June 17, 2022, at the West River Ice Center parking lot and will feature 46 different companies cooking for an all-you-can-eat buffet that goes toward Make-A-Wish North Dakota.
Jackie Jahfetson / The Dickinson Press
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DICKINSON — Ten years ago, two women came together to form the Bakken BBQ as a way to raise awareness for Make-A-Wish North Dakota, making dreams come true for southwestern boys and girls. This year, the annual event is expected to break records as it commemorates a decade of all things barbeque, community and charity.

The 10th Annual Bakken BBQ will open its doors at 4 p.m. at the West River Ice Center parking lot. As the event wraps up at 10 p.m. and weather permitting, fireworks are scheduled for the grand finale to celebrate10 years.

“We’re really excited because well, we started out as nothing 10 years ago and here we are 10 years later, 14 committee members and they bust their butts for us and we just can’t thank the community and companies enough,” Bakken BBQ Co-Founder Tiffany Steiner said. “So what a better way to give back than (with) some fireworks.”

In 2021 , the event garnered its largest crowd of more than 3,500 attendees and raised $70,000 . That number is expected to hit a new record of 5,000 this year, Steiner added.

Members of the Bakken BBQ Committee are pictured at the 9th Annual Bakken BBQ in June of 2021 at the West River Ice Center in Dickinson.
Members of the Bakken BBQ Committee are pictured at the 9th Annual Bakken BBQ in June of 2021 at the West River Ice Center in Dickinson. This year, the annual event will celebrate 10 years and will feature a "Party of the Decades" theme.
Jackie Jahfetson / The Dickinson Press

Over the years, the Bakken BBQ Committee has expanded the oil field event to include other companies and businesses. This year, Steiner noted that they have maxed out their available spots and have a record number of 46 companies set to cook for ultimate bragging barbeque rights.

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“Now, here we are 46 later. Thank goodness to Gravity Oilfield Services for supplying power because we just keep adding companies and they keep supplying it to us. They do a magical job. Without them, our event wouldn’t run. So we really have to give them a huge thanks,” Steiner said.

With the theme titled “Party of the Decades,” several companies will come dressed in their era they chose from 60s, 80s to 90s, Bakken BBQ Co-founder Jackie Jenkin said.

“It’s just so much fun. It feels good to do something that’s not just about you or your family. It feels good to give back and create those connections with our committee and these companies and the families of Make-A-Wish or the other organizations we donate to,” Jenkin noted.

Each year, the committee donates a large amount of their time in order to plan the event.

“It feels a little more emotional. As I've looked over the last 10 years, it's taken up a huge part of our lives and it's been so much fun and we've gotten to know so many people and give back to so many people, which has been awesome,” Jenkin said. “We've gotten to know which families, we've gotten to know some different organizations in the area that maybe we never knew before and it just feels good that Tiffany and I were able to keep this going for 10 years. I hope we can continue to keep it going.”

The same testament was shared by Steiner.

“I think it is very emotional because we do put our heart and soul into this event. I think even if we're not working on it, we're thinking about it,” she said. “... Our committee and Jackie and I, we do not take a profit. So everything that we do raise goes back to the community.”

Bakken BBQ co-founders  Jackie Jenkin, left, and Tiffany Steiner, pictured above, are getting ready to host the 10th Annual Bakken BBQ on Friday, June 17, 2022, at the West River Ice Center in Dickinson.
Bakken BBQ co-founders Jackie Jenkin, left, and Tiffany Steiner, pictured above, are getting ready to host the 10th Annual Bakken BBQ on Friday, June 17, 2022, at the West River Ice Center in Dickinson.
Jackie Jahfetson / The Dickinson Press

Looking back on 10 years, Steiner chuckled, admitting that they didn’t anticipate the event to grow into such success.

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“The first year, it took six weeks and we had raised $50,000,” she said. “So I think we knew there was something there because we wouldn’t have been able to do that without the companies and sponsors and they just stepped right up.”

Jenkin added, “... It’s an ongoing battle that you’re trying to improve one thing, but then something else falls or some new issue comes to light. So you just keep trying to make (it) better.”

The community has embraced the Bakken BBQ as something they look forward to each summer, Steiner said, because it’s an event that gives back to the community. Over the years, the Bakken BBQ Committee has been able to donate to more than just Make-A-Wish North Dakota; they’ve helped Women Empowering Women and the BackPack Program .

Several organizations from the Badlands Big Sticks, Dickinson State University cheerleaders and Heart River Cougars football team will volunteer this year, Steiner said, adding that the Bakken BBQ Committee in return will donate back to those groups as a way to say thank you.

“It’s really neighbors helping neighbors. To me, that’s what Dickinson is all about. You see someone in need, someone helps you and there’s no question asked… That’s exactly what this event is; (it) is helping your neighbor out because there are people in this community that do need help,” Steiner added.

Admission is $20 for adults, $10 for children 9 to 15 and free for children under 8. Raffle tickets will be $10 a piece and there will be two prizes: 2022 Trail Sport RZR or Ranger 1000 and a Bergara B-14 HMR rifle. For additional details, visit bakkenbbq.org .

Related Topics: DICKINSONEVENTSBAKKEN BBQNONPROFITS
Jackie Jahfetson is a graduate of Northern Michigan University whose journalism path began in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan as a freelancer for The Daily Mining Gazette. Her previous roles include editor-in-chief at The North Wind and reporter at The Mining Journal in Marquette, Mich. Raised on a dairy farm, she immediately knew Dickinson would be her first destination west as she focuses on gaining aptitude for ranch life, crop farming and everything agriculture. She covers hard news stories centered on rural communities and government, agriculture & Ranch. When not fulfilling deadlines and attending city commission meetings, she is a budding musician and singer.
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