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Lose your blues with fresh brews

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Seattle and Portland may have started the whole coffeehouse craze but Grand Forks has definitely perfected it! All throughout our town we have several java joints (some locally owned, some national chains) ready to brew you up a cup of caffeine filled deliciousness. Each has a little something different to offer…but all offer a great place to have a grand time.   BULLY BREW COFFEE COMPANY – This Grand Forks original is the only place in town that actually roasts their own beans. The Cowboy Coffee is my favorite blend and since they can bag it to-go, y’all can Keurig up a cup for yourself at home anytime. After a day of shopping your way through Columbia Mall, a delicious Hazelnut Latte is a perfect way to unwind and rewind through all your great buys. Locations: 2100 S Columbia Rd and Columbia Mall – 2800 S Columbia Rd   CARIBOU COFFEE – This popular regional chain has a variety of tasty coffee creations to either warm you up or cool you down. My top choices are the Northern Lite Latte, Campfire Mocha and Salted Caramel Cooler. They even have drinks for little ones including a yummy Hot Chocolate and Mango …

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Posted in: Arts & Culture, Dining, Travel & Tourism, Uncategorized
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Grand ART FESTivities to fill the Forks

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Mark your calendars now and get ready to raise two Forks on June 11 & 12! That’s when both Downtown Grand Forks and East Grand Forks will be rocking with great shopping, live entertainment, food and tons of fun during the 2016 Grand Cities Art Fest! Over 120 quality artists and crafters from around the nation will be selling their wares at Town Square, the Greenway and Cabela’s parking lot.  Examples of the different media include ceramics, drawing, glass, jewelry, metal, naturals and painting. Dozens of food vendors will be on hand to tantalize your taste buds with everything from caramel apples, funnel cakes and kettle korn to fry bread tacos, bison burgers and barbecue ribs. And don’t forget to check out NoVAC’s Arts in Action, Fine Arts Avenue, Kids’ Corner and the Main Stage.   NoVAC’s Arts in Action: Are you curious about how artists turn raw materials into amazing works of art? At Arts in Action, artists will perform live demonstrations of their art-making process in the Town Square.   Fine Arts Avenue: What happens when you take simple, inexpensive materials and add inspiration and talent? You get Fine Arts Avenue where more than 25 of the region’s finest artists will be …

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Posted in: Arts & Culture, Entertainment, Events, Shopping, Travel & Tourism, Uncategorized
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CVB complimentary services make any event Simply Grand

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You know the saying: If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Well, that definitely does NOT apply to all the amazing complimentary services the Greater Grand Forks Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB) provides to tournaments, conferences and conventions being held in our cities!   Skilled and professional CVB staff are ready to guide and assist organizers through the whole process of planning and executing a successful event. From finding the ideal venue and helping with bid preparation to securing room blocks and servicing your attendees while here…all our services are top-notch and FREE of charge.   Here’s a partial listing of just what the CVB can do for you: BID PREPARATION & PRESENTATION: Our sales staff will prepare and present formal bid proposals for conventions and sporting events. Staff will also coordinate and host site visits. HOSPITALITY PACKETS: We offer information for registration packets, including a hospitality bag, Greater Grand Forks Visitors Guide, Visitor Bargain Brochure and others. [Value = $17/100 packets] REGISTRATION ASSISTANCE: Highly qualified personnel can assist with convention registration. [Value = $12/hour + laptop 7 printer = $50/day] HOUSING: We will assist in coordinating housing needs by setting up room blocks at local …

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Posted in: Events, Sports & Recreation, Travel & Tourism, Uncategorized
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Love is in the air and alley

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What better way to experience the vibrancy of Downtown Grand Forks than at an event created especially for that purpose? Alley Alive is a celebration of Downtown culture focused on homegrown music, art and culinary creations.  Like the name states, it all takes place in one of our most unique locations: the Kim Holmes Alley of Love!   Grand Forks is hosting its first 2016 Alley Alive, May 6, from 5 to 11 p.m.  Attendees will find vendor displays focused on artwork in a variety of mediums, family friendly stations, multiple stages of live music, food trucks, plus much more.  And as an added bonus, this hip happening is FREE and open to the public!   Message, tweet, text and/or call all your family and friends now…then journey to the alleys and parks along Third and Fourth Streets this Friday!  Since it’s an all-ages event, there will be some type of fun for everyone.  More details and updates may be found on the Alley Alive Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/alleyalive/.  

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Posted in: Arts & Culture, Entertainment, Events, shows and concerts, Travel & Tourism, Uncategorized
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Finding Fine Food in the Forks

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Can’t beat a shout out from an award-winning travel writer!  A big thank you to Vancouver based columnist, Lucas Aykroyd, for his kind (yet totally accurate) words about how GRAND dining is in the FORKS! Finding Fine Food at Five Restaurants in Grand Forks, North Dakota

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Posted in: Dining, Travel & Tourism, Uncategorized
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Eccentric exhibit inhabits NDMOA

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If you’re a fan of all things far out and fabulous, you definitely need to pay a visit to the North Dakota Museum of Art (NDMOA) and peruse the Barton Lidice Bennes permanent exhibit. Ranging from a mounted giraffe and warthog to tribal masks and antiques, this eclectic collection will leave you awestruck.   Acclaimed artist Barton Lidice Benes gifted the contents of his New York apartment to the Museum, which includes over $1 million in African, Egyptian and contemporary art, plus much more. NDMOA staff dismantled the collection and reassembled it as the Museum’s first period room: a Twenty-First Century Artist’s Studio. Benes and NDMOA Executive Director, Laurel Reuter, were first introduced to each other, in 1987, by Harvey Hoshour. Hoshour was the architect who planned the original design for the renovation of the University of North Dakota Old Women’s Gym into what is now the current home of NDMOA. Sadly, he passed away before the renovation was complete; so, Reuter turned to other artists to complete the building. Barton Benes designed the Museum Shop and later NDMOA’s Donor Wall. The new building opened in 1989, with a survey exhibition of Benes’ art.   More exhibitions followed in 1995 and …

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Downtown fare with upscale flair

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If you’re in SimplyGrand Forks and find yourself yearning for a restaurant with an eclectic urban feel, The Toasted Frog fills the bill.  Their carefully crafted menu, with dishes that are both creative and delicious, may not be pages long but it offers something for every taste bud.    The Toasted Frog is located in a beautiful historic downtown building at 124 North 3rd Street.  In December of 2005, Grand Forks natives Shawn Clapp and Jon Holth acquired the space and began creation of “The Frog”, thus realizing a longtime dream.  After months of remodeling, staff hiring and training, and menu development, the restaurant opened its doors to the public on May 1, 2006.    With its casual metropolitan atmosphere, extensive martini and wine lists, diverse food, and professional staff, The Toasted Frog has become a popular destination for both locals and visitors.  Some of the most frequently ordered items on the menu include the Fried Cheesy Pickles, Wild Mushroom Lavosh, Wood-Fired Pork Belly & Egg Pizza, Mahi-Mahi Tacos, Open Faced Caprese Melt, Moroccan Spiced Lamb Burger, Sodbuster Short Ribs, Gorgonzola Butter Filet Mignon, Chimichurri Pork Tenderloin and nightly specials like Lobster Mac ‘n’ Cheese, Coffee Encrusted Sirloin and Asian …

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Apps, taps and more at Bonzer’s

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Last night I was lucky to have a meeting scheduled at Bonzer’s Sandwich Pub in downtown Grand Forks. Bonzer’s is a mainstay in Grand Forks and I have visited it many, many times over the years, but, admittedly, it has been awhile.   When I walked in I remembered its warm and cozy atmosphere. Immediately I was approached by a bartender that went through a list of their beer on tap. I chose a schooner of Dos Equis Azul, which did not disappoint. The array of tap beers ranged from domestics to a variety of imports as well as a local brew from Rhombus Brewery.   My meeting did not include dinner, but I have enjoyed many lunches and dinners at Bonzer’s. The Bonzer’s Chili Con Carne is definitely my favorite, but they also have a variety of hot and cold sandwiches, Mexican appetizers and sausages. Mr. Bonzer himself offers Jon’s Special, which is a juicy Polish sausage prepared in their family’s own blend of spices; served with Swiss cheese, pickle and mustard on rye. Don’t forget to add soup, salad or side…I hear the pickled eggs are pretty awesome!   I should mention all this scrumptious comfort food is offered a …

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Posted in: Dining, Travel & Tourism
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Holiday Spirit Abounds in Grand Forks

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Today’s post comes from our friend Shel Zolkewich, Manitoba travel writer and blogger…   It’s nearly impossible not to feel the holiday spirit in Grand Forks. Take a peek inside any restaurant and you’ll see friends and family gathered inside sharing good cheer. Downtown, shop windows are dressed for the season with sparking white lights and likenesses of jolly Old St. Nick. And a long list of holiday events offer a welcome break from the hustle and bustle.   The Empire Theatre Company just wrapped up performances of the holiday classic A Christmas Carol. The production stayed true to its literary roots and steered clear of elaborate sets and special effects. The journey of Ebenezer Scrooge—expertly captured by Darin Kerr—reminds us all of some important lessons, at any time of the year. The Empire Arts Center hosts the Grand Forks Ballet Company for a Nutcracker Extravaganza as well as Joy to the World by the Greater Grand Forks Symphony Orchestra this weekend.   Shopping downtown in Grand Forks is a little like stepping back into a kinder, gentler time. Cozy boutiques entice visitors with cheery window displays and gifts you won’t find anywhere else. Pop into Whole Life for fashions, …

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Posted in: Dining, Entertainment, Events, Shopping, shows and concerts, Travel & Tourism
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We have spirit…yes we do

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Feeling a little blue?  I know what will put the jingle in your bells and jolly in your holly!  If you’re looking for activities to create a festive frame of mind, Greater Grand Forks is definitely the place.  We have seasonal celebrations, concerts and everything in between.  In addition to offering great holiday bargains, our malls and specialty shops will be sparkling with beautiful decorations.    Following is a list of holiday happenings that are sure to get you feeling very merry.  More information on these and other events may be found on our website.   Dec. 1-31 à Go GRAND for the Holidays Tree Display & Open House @ GGF Visitor Center (4251 Gateway Dr)   Dec. 1-31 à Christmas in the Park Holiday Lights Tour @ Lincoln Drive Park   Dec. 3-5 à “A Christmas Carol” @ Empire Arts Center   Dec. 5 à 2015 Christmas Festival @ Heritage Village   Dec. 5 à 91st Annual Christmas Musicale @ United Lutheran Church   Dec. 5 à Taste of Cabela’s & Pictures with Santa @ Cabela’s   Dec. 5 à Winter wUNDerland Concert @ Chester Fritz Auditorium   Dec. 6 à The Reason: A Family Christmas Experience @ Chester …

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