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Category Archives: Entertainment

Meet a year-round Grinch during the Empire Theatre Company’s production of The Great American Trailer Park Christmas Musical

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Everyone has a Scrooge in their life, but count your blessings you don’t have a Darlene. Darlene is basically the year-round Grinch for Armadillo Acres, North Florida’s premier mobile living community. Armadillo Acres during Christmas time would put Disney to shame as being the “happiest place on earth” if it wasn’t for Darlene. Day after day, she puts a damper on her neighbor’s happy-go-lucky-and-belly-full-of-beer life.   Until she acquires a case of amnesia, that is. The Scrooge is no longer so Scrooge-like. Darlene’s neighbors: Lin, Betty, and Pickles are faced with dilemma after dilemma that will keep you laughing and questioning how your mama raised you even after the musical ends.   The Great American Trailer Park Christmas Musical is more than a mouth full, it’s a good time. So leave the kids at home, for this one is a bit out of their league. The stereotypcial trailer park characters are not so politically correct with some mouths that should be washed out with soap. Join us at the Empire Arts Center for some belly aching laughs this Friday, Saturday and Sunday!

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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 at www.visitgrandforks.com.   Thru Dec. 7: 21st Annual Festival of Trees @ Columbia Mall Sears Wing Thru Dec. 31: Christmas in the Park Holiday Lights Tour @ Lincoln Drive Park Dec. 4-6: “Great American Trailer Park Christmas Musical” @ Empire Arts Center Dec. 6: Winter wUNDerland Concert @ Chester Fritz Auditorium Dec. 6-7: Historical Society Holiday Open House @ Myra Museum Dec. 7:  91st Annual Christmas Musicale @ United Lutheran Church Dec. 7: Annual Family Christmas Party @ Heritage Village Dec. 11-14: “Best Christmas Pageant Ever” @ Red River HS Auditorium Dec. 11-15 & 18-21: Santa Village 2014 @ Lincoln Park Club House Dec. 13: A Family Christmas …

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Applause and curtain calls

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If you’re a fan of all things musical like me, listen up!  Since 1972, the Chester Fritz Auditorium stage has hosted numerous legendary performances and with upcoming events ranging from Broadway to Beethoven and Christmas bells to steel drums, The Fritz’s 2014-15 schedule is sure to please a wide variety of tastes.      At just over 2,300 seats, Chester Fritz is the perfect size to host musical theater and intimate concerts.  Its top notch sound system, renowned acoustics and auditorium layout are such that it makes you feel at one with the production.     Experience a little of the auditorium’s great history by strolling down the halls lined with autographed pictures of past performers, just some of whom include Kenny Rogers, Wayne Newton, Cliff Richard, Jewel, Bette Midler and Manhattan Transfer.  When you’re in the lobby, make sure to look up and enjoy the iconic beauty of the Starcher Chandelier.  Custom made in Italy, it is lighted by approximately 30 lamps and blends 5,550 lead crystal beads, prisms and tear drops.     Whether it’s a family outing or date night out, Chester Fritz Auditorium has been the place to go for over 40 years.  And no matter what show (or …

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Putting the excitement on ice

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I must admit, I’ve grown up a big basketball fan.  Even though that is still my first love, when I finally experienced Division I college hockey live, I was hooked!  If you’ve never been, Grand Forks offers plenty of chances to see all the action up close.   Under head coach Brian Idalski, watch the University of North Dakota Women’s Hockey team this season as they skate, pass and shoot their way to victory.  With several standouts like Andrea Dalen and Josefine Jakobsen returning, UND is sure to see playoff action again this season.   The University of North Dakota Men’s Hockey team, with veteran coach and former UND hockey handout Dave Hakstol at the helm, is looking to end the season atop the newly formed NCHC.  The whole crowd will jump to its feet after every goal and with future NHL stars like Nick Schmaltz and Luke Johnson on the roster, you’ll be cheering nonstop.      Home ice advantage also means fans get to enjoy all the luxuries of the magnificent Ralph Engelstad Arena, including its granite floor concourses, plush leather seats, amazing sound system and state-of-the-art jumbo screens that highlight every second of the action.  If a variety …

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Fun for a kid…and a kid at heart

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“There’s nothing to do.”  Have you recently heard those four words that every parent and babysitter dreads?  If so, there’s no need to worry.  Greater Grand Forks has you covered, with lots of options to entertain kids.  Oh, and adults will like ‘em too!                                                         For outdoor fun, journey to Sherlock Forest Playground in East Grand Forks for a little monkey(bar)ing around.  Maybe shooting a few hoops or trying your hand Frisbee golfing at Lincoln or Riverside Parks is more your thing.  When you’re talking fall, of course you need to know Jack, O’ Lantern that is!  Located a short 20 minute drive west of Grand Forks, in Emerado, ND, is Nelson’s Pumpkin Patch.  It features both a straw and corn maze, haunted house, hayrides, farm animal petting zoo, games, concessions and more.      It’s a cold day outside?  No problem; just head inside!  The Canad Inns Destination Center features a tropical themed water park and mega arcade for both guests and non-guests.  Likewise, the new Choice Health & Fitness facility offers an amazing water park and pool area, in addition to topnotch workout equipment and classes.  Pay a visit to the rock climbing wall located in the Grand Cities …

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Stroll, Sip and Savor the Flavor of Downtown

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Much like a good Beaujolais, the Greater Grand Forks Art & Wine Walk keeps getting better with age.  The first glass of wine was poured back in 2006, when the Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB) and North Valley Arts Council (NoVAC) partnered up to host one of the most popular annual events our cities have ever known.  This past year, the CVB handed over its duties to the newly formed Downtown Development Association but the Walk remains virtually unchanged.       Held every June through October, on the third Saturday of each month, Art & Wine Walk offers regional artists a chance to display their talents and wares at several downtown Grand Forks and East Grand Forks venues.  A sample of wine will be available, at specified sites, for those 21 years of age and older.  Some locations may also choose to serve nonalcoholic beverages and snacks, along with featuring live music.    On the day of the event, a map listing participating businesses can be purchased for $15 at either the Red Roof TownHouse Inn or Blue Moose Grill & Bar.  A partial list of participants includes: Kittson Boutique; Brick & Barley; RH Standard; River City Jewelers; Hey Ocean and …

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Summer in Grand Forks!

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Today’s blog comes from Shel Zolkewich, travel writer from Manitoba and friend of Greater Grand Forks.   What could be better than summer sunshine and an outdoor swimming pool? Two outdoor swimming pools, that’s what! We often visit the massive outdoor pool at Sherlock Park in East Grand Forks (500 Block and 4th Avenue NW, East Grand Forks, Minnesota). Last fall, we stumbled upon a second outdoor pool. The Riverside Park and Pool (1801 North 1st Street, Grand Forks, North Dakota) is virtually identical to the one in Sherlock Park. A Saturday afternoon at either offers tan lines and endless summer fun.   Both pools are big! There seems to be room for everyone no matter how busy the day gets. Each also has a kiddie wading pool designed to keep the wee ones cool. There are some chairs and loungers around the pools but spreading your towel on the concrete works too. A small water slide at each pool offers a quick entry into the water. But the crowning glory of these pools are the springboards. Each has two perched over a deep section of the pool for fancy diving or amusing belly flops.   Adult admission is $3 …

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The first Art & Wine Walk of 2014 is coming up!

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Today’s blog is written by Julie Rygg, Convention & Visitors Bureau Executive Director.   This Saturday, June 21, will mark the first Art & Wine Walk of the season. There are five each year that occur the third Saturday, June-October. $15 gets you the map of participating locations, food and wine samples, commemorative wine glass, champagne reception and opportunities to win great prizes. There are also season passes available for purchase, which provide a discount if you plan on participating multiple times.   The event kicks off at 1 p.m. with starting locations at the Blue Moose Bar & Grill (East Grand Forks) or the GuestHouse Town House (Grand Forks). At 5 p.m. everyone comes together for a champagne reception at the Empire Arts Center.   Art & Wine Walk is a fun, social event that brings people together to enjoy unique wines while visiting many talented artists from the region all hosted in downtown businesses. You have the opportunity to purchase art during the event or follow up with artists after to see more of their works. Some walks even offer live entertainment. It is a great day to stroll around downtown Greater Grand Forks!   Don’t worry if …

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Art Fest week is finally here!

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Today’s blog is brought to you Convention & Visitors Bureau Executive Director and Grand Forks native Julie Rygg.   There is a lot of buzz and excitement in Greater Grand Forks this week with the  2014 Grand Cities Art Fest, produced by North Valley Arts Council, taking place downtown on Saturday, June 14 and Sunday, June 15. With approximately 175 artist and craft vendors as well as great food and entertainment lined throughout the Greenway, Town Square and Cabela’s parking lot, the downtown will be alive with activity.   I look forward to Art Fest every year. I love to go and hear the music, nibble on treats and purchase fun art for my home and gifts. Of course, this event isn’t just for the adults. The kiddos love it too. My kids’ favorites are the bouncy houses, funnel cakes and unique kids’ items.   If you are new to Art Fest or come every year, you absolutely cannot miss “Arts in Action”. It is a wonderful opportunity to see amazing artists turn raw materials into  original works. This is fun for the whole family!   Admission and parking are free. If you would like to download the map, Art …

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Lights, Santa, skating and more all in Lincoln Park

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Every holiday season Lincoln Park is aglow with holiday light displays. The best part, you can see them all from your warm, cozy car! Lions’ Christmas in the Park hosts light displays sponsored by local businesses and organizations. Each year, businesses design a light display that is places along Lincoln Park Drive. Visitors to the park can then drive through the park loop and view all the displays. And, if you don’t mind a little winter chill, you can even pop on your cross-country skis or snowshoes (or rent some for the Lincoln Park warming house) and glide by the light display.   Lions’ Christmas in the Park is open until December 31, from 5:30 p.m. to 10 p.m., with special hours extended to midnight on December 31. The cost is $5 per car, $10 per limosine and $20 per bus. Proceeds are used by the Lions Club to increase contributions to worthwhile charities and projects in the community.   Also in Lincoln Park is the extremely popular Santa’s Village. Each year Santa and his elves set up their workshop at the Lincoln Golf Course Clubhouse. Families are invited to come create crafts, play games, read a book with the …

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