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Get revved up for fun

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Have you ever wondered why racing has become one of the fastest growing spectator sports in the country? You won’t find the answer by watching premier racing on television; you have to see it in person. Even the best home theater system can’t do justice to the sensory overload you’ll experience at the River Cities Speedway!   Late April through mid-September the Speedway revs up with the sights and sounds of NOSA 410 Outlaw Sprints, WISSOTA Late Models, Midwest Modifieds and Street Stocks. Every Friday, beginning with Hot Laps at 6:30 p.m. and a 7 p.m. Start Time, skilled regional drivers will battle for the checkered flag on one of the best 1/3 mile Bullring dirt tracks in the country.   Be sure to pick up a drink and some tasty eats (taco-in-a-bag and hot dogs are two favorites) from the concessions area or stop by the beer garden for an adult beverage. A free treat also awaits the kids at the nightly candy toss. Afterward, head over to the pits for an autographed picture of your favorite driver or stop by the souvenir shop and pick up a t-shirt. So, if you’re ready for an evening of nonstop action …

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Posted in: Entertainment, Events, Sports & Recreation, Travel & Tourism, Uncategorized
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Art up in Greater Grand Forks

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When it comes to great works of art, our SimplyGrand cities are the place to go…or should I say, Van Gogh?! Yes, even one of the most heralded artists in history, Vincent Van Gogh, had his paintings displayed in our community. In fact, the University of North Dakota collections (featured at both the North Dakota Museum of Art and Empire Arts Center Gallery) include works by Salvador Dali, Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein and countless other legends!   Probably the highest concentration of great works, with regard to both galleries and public art, occur in our Downtown District. Gallery wise, just some of the ones to check out are: The Guild (311 DeMers Ave); Third Street Gallery (310 Kittson Ave); Browning Arts (23 4th St S); World’s Smallest Gallery (324 Kittson Ave); YOU ARE HERE (25 S 4th St) and the River Walk Artists Gallery (211 DeMers Ave). Amazingly unique public displays can be found throughout downtown Grand Forks like the two colorful BIG Heads (3rd St & DeMers Ave and 4th St & Kittson Ave), Wally the Worm bike rack (4th St & 1st Ave N) and the newest one, entitled “Grand Escape”. Located on the corner of DeMers Avenue …

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Savor reds, get greens, hear blues

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Don’t have any major plans for your summer weekends? No worries; we’ve got some simply grand news for you! In addition to all the great shopping, attractions and dining the Downtown District offers, our two towns have a whole slate of colorful outdoor events coming up.   June 11 & 12:  2016 Grand Cities Art Fest 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Downtown Town Square, The Greenway and Cabela’s Parking Lot Over 150 quality art and craft vendors, food concessionaires, live entertainment stages, kids’ activities and more Free admission Every Saturday, June 18 through September 24:  Outdoor Farmer’s Market 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Town Square Fresh produce, flowers, baked goods, crafts and more Live entertainment and food concessions Free admission June 18, July 16, August 20, September 17, October 15: Art & Wine Walk 1 to 5 p.m. Downtown Grand Forks – beginning and ending at Empire Arts Center, with a champagne tasting and hors d’oeuvres at 5 p.m. Sample an array of delicious wines while viewing unique works of art at Downtown businesses Admission is $20 and includes a souvenir wine glass June 25, July 23, August 27:  Happy Harry’s Blues on the Red Summer Music Series 6 to 10 …

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Posted in: Arts & Culture, Entertainment, Events, shows and concerts, Travel & Tourism, Uncategorized
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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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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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Posted in: Dining, Travel & Tourism, Uncategorized
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