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Get in the spirit


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 or by downloading The Official Grand Forks App on Google Play or the App Store.   Nov. 25-Dec. 31 –> Go GRAND for the Holidays Tree Display & Open House at GGF Visitor Center (4251 Gateway Dr) Nov. 25-Dec. 31 –> Christmas in the Park Holiday Lights Tour at Lincoln Drive Park Nov. 25-27 & Dec. 1-4 –> “Christmas Story: The Musical” at Empire Arts Center Nov. 25-Dec. 26 –> Visit & Pictures with Santa at Columbia Mall Nov. 27 –> HollyDazzle Festival of Lights 2016 at Town Square/Downtown Nov. 27 –> Oak Ridge Boys Christmas Show at Chester Fritz Auditorium Nov. 29 –> Kat Perkins: Home for the Holidays at Empire Arts Center Dec. 1 –> Kenny Rogers Christmas & …

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Play time at the Fire Hall


Besides being one of the quaintest buildings in Greater Grand Forks, the historic Fire Hall Theatre has become a downtown venue hot spot for great live performing art. Home to the Greater Grand Forks Community Theatre Company, this talented troop’s 69th Season of shows is nothing less than stellar! With everything from youthful musicals to impactful dramas, their upcoming productions will have you laughing, crying and up on your feet, giving a standing ovation.   As proof of its diversity, take a look at the 2016-17 schedule: November 11-13 & 18-20, 2016 – “Willy Wonka, Jr.” and “Hansel & Gretel” (Children’s musical version of two classic tales.) December 15-18, 2016 – “Miracle on 34th Street: A Radio Play” (Legendary holiday film performed in its original format.) February 2-18, 2017 – “Prelude to a Kiss” (Story of two people who fall in love despite the girl’s pessimistic outlook on life. Shortly after the couple’s wedding, a supernatural event tests the strength of their love and commitment.) March 23-April 8, 2017 – “Murder on the Nile” (1944 murder mystery play, by crime writer Agatha Christie, based on her 1937 novel Death on the Nile.)   For further details on these events and …

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Show up Downtown


Besides being one of the most uniquely beautiful buildings in Greater Grand Forks, the historic Empire Arts Center has become a downtown hub of great live entertainment. Home to the Empire Theatre Company, this talented troop’s Season Five slate of shows is nothing less than stellar! With everything from hilarious musicals to impactful dramas, their upcoming productions will have you laughing, crying and up on your feet, giving a standing ovation. Several nationally acclaimed musicians will also be taking the stage, with some excellent holiday concerts booked for this fall.   As proof of its diversity, just take a look at the Empire’s 2016-17 schedule: October 13-15 & 20-22, 7:30 PM – “Constellations” (Drama examining how the tiniest change in the details of our lives can lead us on completely different paths. For mature audiences.) October 29, 30 & 31, Midnight – Nine & Numb presents: “The Rocky Horror Picture Show LIVE” (Prepare to be thrilled, chilled and fulfilled as a live cast of actors perform in front of a screen playing the cult 1975 film starring Tim Curry, Susan Sarandon and Meatloaf.) November 25-27 & December 1-4, 7:30 PM /Sundays at 2 PM – “A Christmas Story: The Musical” …

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It’s a SimplyGrand pumpkin, Charlie Brown


Autumn is here but no need to fear…you and the family are gonna fall in love with all the spooktacular fun to be had at Nelson’s Pumpkin Patch.  Since Halloween is only a few weeks away, time to get pumpkin’d up and pick your very own gourd before they’re all gone!   Located just west of Grand Forks, Nelson’s is a mere 20-mile drive to one great time.  Some of the cool to-dos include a pre-school straw maze, 10-acre spider web corn maze, hayrides, farm animal petting zoo, games, concessions and much more.  And if you’re feeling brave, the Gruesome Canary Haunted House is wicked good!   Nelson’s is open through October 30, from 3 to 6 PM during the week and 11 AM to 6 PM on weekends.  Their address is: 2448 20th Avenue NE, Emerado, ND.  Simply take the Grand Forks Air Force Base exit off Highway 2, then go 1½ miles north and a ¼ mile east…then look for the BIG PUMPKIN.  Additional information may be found at  

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Takin’ it to the hoop


If you’re a fan of high scoring, fast paced action and March Madness is your favorite time of year, a University of North Dakota Fighting Hawks basketball game is right up your alley…or court! Even though the men’s and women’s programs are only in their 5th season of Division I Big Sky Conference play, they’re already a force to be reckoned with.   Veteran head coach Brian Jones takes his club into this season on the heels of a 10-8 conference record in 2015-16 and a postseason tournament appearance. Starters Quinton Hooker and Carson Shanks head a team of skilled players at both the offensive and defensive ends of the court. The quick and tenacious sophomore guard Geno Crandall is also one to watch.   Strong favorites to finish atop the Big Sky, 4th season head coach Travis Brewster will once again be directing a squad of very gifted women. Leading scorers Makailah Dyer and Samantha Roscoe will light up the scoreboard, while fiery guard Leah Szabla frustrates opponents with her ball-handling and defensive skills. UND also has a full slate of other potent weapons including Bailey Strand and NDSU transfer Holly Johnson.   Along with a chance to see …

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Make Grand Forks the App of your iPhone or Android


Ever missed out on a fun event because you hadn’t heard about it?  Or perhaps you could have saved 20% off a recent purchase with a discount you weren’t aware of?  Well, that never needs to happen again because the Greater Grand Forks Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB) has just launched its new mobile app! If you wanna be in the know 24/7/365, then “get the THE OFFICIAL GRAND FORKS APP” available now at Google Play and the App Store.   Key features of this SimplyGrand promotional tool include: the community’s most comprehensive calendar of events; deals and discounts for local businesses; great to-dos and must-sees; turn-by-turn directions and much more. Through push notifications, you’ll also be able to receive updates, new promotions and current tourism offerings. Don’t miss out or delay…grab the The Official Grand Forks App today!   Almost forgot, there is even more fabulous news about the CVB’s new mobile app. To help celebrate its debut, we are giving away a $100 gift card each month for the first six months! To be eligible, all you hafta do is “get the THE OFFICIAL GRAND FORKS APP” at Google Play or the App Store.  

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Taking center stage


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 and with upcoming events ranging from Broadway to Beethoven and Christmas bells to steel drums, The Fritz’s remaining 2016 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, LeAnn Rimes, Jewel, Cliff Richard 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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Uncorked in Forks


Where can you go to pick grand grapes and taste great wines in our SimplyGrand cities?  The popular Grape Mill Vineyard and Winery in East Grand Forks!   Overlooking the banks of the beautiful Red Lake River, the Mill’s cold, hardy grape vines produce a unique flavor specific to our region. The Halversons – Russ, Gail and Matt – planted their first 200 vines back in 2006.  Today, the vineyard has over 1600 vines including the varieties Marquette, La Crescent, Frontenac, Frontenac Gris and Brianna. The family hopes you’ll enjoy their wines and appreciate the time and effort that goes into each bottle.   With Red, White and Blush varieties, Grape Mill offers a vino for every palate.  Be sure to stop in their tasting room and try one of your favorites or grab a bottle to take home for later.   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.   Grape Mill is located at 18696 430th Avenue SW in East Grand Forks, MN.  They are open Friday through Sunday, from 12 to 7 p.m.  For …

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Every fun event under the sun


Summer may be winding down but that certainly doesn’t mean our SimplyGrand events are! In addition to all the great shopping, dining and attractions Grand Forks/East Grand Forks has to offer, there are a whole slate of fun outdoor events coming up this weekend:   Fridays, late April through September 16:  Premier Racing Hot Laps at 6 p.m. & Races at 7 p.m. River Cities Speedway WORLD OF OUTLAW SPRINTS (featuring Donny Schatz) + Lightning Sprints, Late Models, Midwest Modifieds and Street Stocks will all vie for the checkered flag on one of America’s top dirt tracks Food and beverage concessions $37/$32 for Adults; $17 for Kids  Saturdays, June 18 through September 24:  Outdoor Farmer’s Market 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Town Square Fresh produce, flowers, baked goods, crafts and more Live entertainment and food concessions Free admission  Saturdays, June 18 through September 24:  History Alive! at Farmer’s Market 1 p.m. Begins and ends in Town Square Guided historical walking tour of the Downtown District Free admission  Saturdays, June 18 through September 24: Yoga on The Greenway Beginning at 10 a.m. The Greenway area behind The Toasted Frog Class led by a certified YMCA instructor Bring your own yoga mat, towel …

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Find SimplyGrand buys under Fair Skies


Put pen to planner right now and mark off September 9-10, 2016! Why? Because that’s when the Downtown Development Association (DDA) will sponsor a first-of-its-kind Grand Forks Downtown Street Fair. From DeMers to Third Street and many more, our Downtown District streets will be filled with great shopping, entertainment, food and fun galore.   With the Greater Grand Forks Convention & Visitors Bureau as presenting sponsor, the Street Fair is free and open to the public! This awesome event will feature talented artisans and vendors from around the United States and Canada. A few of the ones already booked include: Simply Dakota (bath and skin care items); John’s Very Cool Glass Art; Prairie Fairy Designs (handmade natural stone jewelry); Red Attic (hand-sewn quilts and clothing) and Dakota Sun Gardens Winery. 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 yummy eats you’ll find are fry bread tacos, fresh-cut fries, bison burgers, hand-battered cheese curds, kettle korn, mini donuts and fruit smoothies.   No worries; there will be some great to-dos for the little ones, too. Town Square is serving as the host …

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