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Find SimplyGraND buys under Fair skies

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Put pen to planner (or stylus to mobile device) right now and mark off September 8 & 9. Why? Because that’s when the Downtown Development Association will host the 2017 Downtown Street Fair. From DeMers to Third, our Downtown District streets will be filled with great shopping, entertainment, food and fun galore. With Greater Grand Forks Convention & Visitors Bureau as presenting sponsor, the Street Fair is free and open to the public!   This excellent event will feature talented artisans and vendors from around the United States and Canada. Here’s a sampling of the many already booked: Dakota Sun Gardens Winery; Happy Magnets; Grain Designs; Hippy Feet; Hello Lucy; Raki Lifestyle and The Little Apiary. If you’re a fair food fan like me, I’m happy to report there is going to be a “Taste of the Fair” food experience! Just some of the delicious offerings will include samosas, steak on a stick, pulled turkey sandwiches, fresh-cut fries, mini donuts and kettle korn.   And the good times don’t end when the merchandise vendors shut down. Friday night is highlighted by the “JLG Rocks the Streets” concert, in Town Square, featuring two awesome acts: The Fabulous Armadillos and Wicked Bees. Food truck fare and beverages …

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Super Saturday in the City

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Travel writer Shel Zolkewich puts together an action-packed itinerary to make the most of your summer Saturday in Grand Forks.   Start your day with a little exercise! The indoor pool at the newly remodeled Ramada Inn is big, bright and beautiful. Plus the adjoining hot tub means the pool is always pleasantly warm—no need to shiver during your dip. This classic hotel boasts a restaurant and bar onsite along with all the amenities you need including a fitness center and pet-friendly rooms.   Make your first stop Bully Brew Coffee, a made-in-Grand Forks success story, now with four bustling locations, including one in Fargo. Treat yourself to the White Chocolate Mocha—espresso, sweet white chocolate powder and steamed milk—and you’ll soon see why it’s the shop’s bestseller.   To market! To market! It’s a feast of color and creativity at The Town Square Farmers’ Market every Saturday from 9am to 1:30 pm at the corner of 3rd Street and Demers Avenue. Handmade goods, local vegetables and fresh baking are piled high as shoppers stroll the riverside market. The hot ticket seems to be The Bakers Wagon, where there’s an unending line-up of folks, no doubt stocking up on fried pies, …

Posted in: Dining, Entertainment, Lodging, Shopping, Sports & Recreation, Travel & Tourism
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Get uncorked in our Forks

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See ya later Sonoma.  Maybe next time Napa Valley.  Why travel across the country when you can pick great grapes and taste grand wines right here in Greater Grand Forks…at the popular Grape Mill Vineyard and Winery!   While they may overlook the banks of the beautiful Red Lake River, Grape Mill’s cold hardy vines produce red, white and blush varieties with a unique, palate-pleasing flavor specific to our region. The Halversons – Russ, Gail and Matt – planted their first 200 grape vines back in 2006.  Today, the vineyard has well over 2,000 vines including the varieties Marquette, La Crescent, Frontenac Gris, Frontenac Blanc and Brianna.   Situated on the estate, take a stroll through the vineyard and discover just what makes their vines so special.  You’ll also learn how each variety is grown, cultivated and turned into delicious wine.   After taking the tour, be sure to stop in Grape Mill’s tasting room and try some of your favorites or grab a bottle to take home for later.  On most Saturdays, you’ll also be serenaded by talented local musicians while you imbibe.   Grape Mill is located at 18696 430th Avenue SW in East Grand Forks, MN.  They are open …

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SimplyGrand Shows Worth Standing O’s

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Wanna take a trip to the Great White Way without ever leaving Greater Grand Forks? Since 1972, the Chester Fritz Auditorium stage has hosted numerous legendary performances. With upcoming events ranging from Broadway to Beethoven and Christmas bells to steel drums, The Fritz’s current schedule is sure to please a wide variety of tastes, as well.   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 Jerry Seinfeld, Kenny Rogers, John Mellencamp, Jewel, Gordon Lightfoot and Bette Midler. 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 …

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Reel in a SimplyGrand time

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The organizers of Cats Incredible Catfish Days are feelin’ dirty at thirty! This popular catfishing tournament – taking place on our dirt-bottomed, north-flowing Red River – is celebrating its 30th year! Held the last weekend of July, in downtown East Grand Forks’ LaFave Park, Cats Incredible brings in top anglers from all over North America. However, even those not competing will find a variety activities, entertainment and food they’re sure to enjoy!   Friday, July 28 Food Vendors & Beer Garden – 5 to 8 p.m.  Saturday, July 29 Fishing Tournament – Day 1 Boat Launch – 4:30 a.m. Fishing Begins – 7 a.m. Gates Open to the Public – 10 a.m. Food Vendors & Beer Garden – 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Family Entertainment – 12 to 6 p.m. Sunday, July 30 Fishing Tournament – Day 2 Boat Launch – 4:30 a.m. Fishing Begins – 7 a.m. Gates Open to the Public – 10 a.m. Food Vendors & Beer Garden – 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. 3rd Annual Cars & Catfish Car Show – 12 to 4 p.m. Family Entertainment – 12 to 6 p.m. Tournament Ends – 4 p.m. Cats Incredible Tournament Awards – 6 p.m. For further …

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Park it at Turtle River

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Situated on in a scenic wooded valley, Turtle River State Park (TRSP) is located just 22 miles west of Grand Forks on Highway 2. TRSP was constructed in the 1930s by the Civilian Conservation Corps and offers year-round recreational activities such as camping, picnicking, fishing, hiking and biking. Rustic group cabins can also be rented.   If fishing is your thing, the Turtle River is stocked with rainbow trout.  No pole?  No worries!  You can borrow all the needed gear at the park office.   To truly experience TRSP, I suggest lacing up the hiking boots.  Another way to capture all the beauty is to pedal your way through. The park also offers up great cross-country skiing and snowshoeing trails for some cool winter recreational opportunities.   Pack your own lunch or swing by a favorite Greater Grand Forks eatery (The Red Pepper and Jimmy John’s are right off Hwy 2) on your way out of town and pick up some perfect picnic fare.  The park’s shelters are always well maintained and offer up a picturesque spot to dine.   You’ll also want to stop in their visitor center and check out the interesting Conservation Corp Interpretive Exhibits and Displays. …

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4 grand ways to spend 1 day at NDMOA

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Yes, the North Dakota Museum of Art (NDMOA) is a perfect place to check out wonderful works of art but it’s also home to unique gifts, terrific tunes and delicious food! Here are four ways to enjoy our town’s cultural gem:   If you’re a fan of all things far out and fabulous, you definitely need to 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. Thanks to tremendous fundraising efforts, NDMOA raised enough money to dismantle Benes’ apartment in New York City’s Chelsea neighborhood and recreate it in North Dakota.   Looking for some one-of-a-kind gifts?  The Museum Shop is filled with artsy, cool items ranging from pottery and paintings to clothing and jewelry, many of which were handmade by artists featured in the galleries.   To curb your hunger pangs, stop by the Museum Café for some culinary works of art.  Master Chef Heather serves up a creative menu with a variety …

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Stock up Downtown: 1 Farmers Market + 2 Grand Forks

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Interested in doing some shopping but still want to enjoy the beautiful summer weather? Then you really need to check out the region’s top Outdoor Farmers Market! It takes place every Saturday through September, from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., in Town Square (corner of DeMers Avenue and 3rd Street). Vendors sell everything from fresh produce and flowers to home baked bread and pies to handmade jewelry and pottery. You’ll also be able to enjoy an array of tasty food truck fare and great live entertainment on the Square’s main stage. If you’d like to learn more about how our fabulous Forks were founded, guided Historical Walking Tours, hosted by the Greater Grand Forks Community Theatre, are held at 1 PM during every Farmers Market beginning in July.   While in the area, make sure to explore both of our beautiful downtowns (Grand Forks, North Dakota and East Grand Forks, Minnesota) and discover all they have to offer. Below are some suggestions for a day or two of fun.   Downtown Adventures            Take a stroll through streets that lead to places where past and present meet.       Historic buildings house 21st century businesses. Attractive public art captures the spirit …

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Hear great songs under grand skies

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Nothing beats listening to great live music, on a beautiful summer evening, under our simply grand skies.  If you agree, we’ve got some awesome news from you…the popular North Dakota Museum of Art Concerts in the Garden Series is back again this summer!   Be sure to bring a lawn chair or blanket, plus several of your friends.  All the fun takes place in the Museum’s sculpture garden, on the University of North Dakota campus, located at 261 Centennial Drive. Tickets are $10 at the door and free for those 12 and younger. There will also be food and beverages available for purchase, including local grass-fed hamburgers, vegetable skewers, nightly specials, root beer floats, beer and wine.   Dates, along with scheduled artists, are as follows:   July 5, 2017, at 6 PM: Christopher Paul Stelling, New York, NY There is a fearless quality to the music of Christopher Paul Stelling.  He’s been described as having a voice that sounds both old and young, an effortless yet intricate finger-picking guitar style and lyrics that are both dramatic and intensely confessional. Stelling released his newest album, “Itinerant Arias”, in May and unlike previous records, it finds Stelling backed by a band.   …

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Take the Grand Tour

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Whether you’re a lifelong resident, new-to-town or just visiting, our new Downtown Walking Tours will teach you all about our Simply Grand Forks! Listed below is information for this summer’s schedule. Best of all, every excursion has a special theme that makes each one unique.   June 10, 10:30 AM to 12: 30 PM, Town Square – ART OF DOWNTOWN GRAND FORKS                                                                                                                   Special feature: Public art located throughout downtown Grand Forks, including art-related events and projects inspired by local and regional artists.   June 24, 4 to 6 PM, Town Square – BEER & SALOONS OF GRAND FORKS  Special feature: Grand Forks has had a rich history involving beer, saloons and alcohol. This tour will include stops at local establishments that may require guess to be 21 years of age or older.   July 29, 3:30 to 5:30 PM, Town Square – GRAND RIVER CITY OF THE NORTH                                                                                                                                      Special feature: Our Red River of the North is the largest northern flowing river in the northern hemisphere. Grand Forks was founded, named and earned national attention because of our river; so, this tour is dedicated to the unique relationship our community has with our nearest body of water.   August 19, 1 …

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