the insider blog

Category Archives: Entertainment

Savor reds, get greens, hear blues

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Don’t have any plans for the next few weekends?  Want to take advantage of the beautiful summer weather?  Well, we’ve got some good news for you!  In addition to all the great shopping, attractions and dining our grand cities offer, Greater Grand Forks has a whole slate of colorful outdoor events coming up.   July 4:  Sertoma 4th of July Festival & Fireworks 12 Noon to 12 Midnight Downtown Town Square & The Greenway Patriotic Kids Parade, live entertainment, children’s activities, silent auction, watermelon feed, food concessions, beer garden, concerts by Kenny & the Classics and The Roosters, 55th Annual Fireworks Show and more Free admission More details may be found on the “Sertoma of Grand Forks” Facebook page   July 4, 11, 18, 25:  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 More details may be found on the “Town Square Farmer’s Market” Facebook page    July 11: Art & Wine Walk 1 to 5 p.m. Downtown Grand Forks – beginning on the corner of DeMers Avenue & 4th Street and ending at Empire Arts Center with a champagne tasting Sample an …

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Kid Stuff 101

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Yay, school’s out for the summer!  Uh-oh, now what am I gonna do?  If you’re looking for things to entertain kids, Greater Grand Forks has lots of options.    For outdoor fun, try the Sherlock Forest Playground, Sherlock Pool or the LaGrave Outdoor Skate Park, all located in East Grand Forks.  The Grand Forks Park District runs two outdoor splash parks, one in University Park and the other at Elks Pool, along with several playgrounds located throughout the city.  Turtle River State Park (just a short 22 miles west of Grand Forks) sponsors a summer series called “Dakota Explorers,” which is a hands-on environmental program for youngsters.   Family Fun Night, Grand Cities Art Fest and Sertoma Fun4th & Fireworks all feature many different games and activities.    On rainy day or when the temp dips a little too low, 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 at the Grand Cities Mall or …

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Top five reasons to attend Grand Cities Art Fest

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  Thinking about attending Grand Cities Art Fest? It definitely has something for everyone whether you like to shop till you drop or you just enjoy strolling outdoors in the summer weather. Here are our top five reasons for attending Art Fest.   1. There will be over 120 artists, crafters and vendors from around the region and US with original work including furniture, paintings, sculpture, clothing, jewelry and more.   2. The food! It may not be all healthy, but it sure is good whether you like a barbecue sandwich or something fried on a stick.   3. It is free! Art Fest and all the live music and entertainment is totally free for attendees! You only pay for what you buy.   4. Art Fast spans both sides of the Red River in Grand Forks and East Grand Forks. You will  stroll along the beautiful Greenway and lively Town Square.   5. Downtown Greater Grand Forks offers a variety of eclectic boutiques and fabulous restaurants to enjoy before and after you attend Art Fest.   What you need to know before you go: Art Fest takes place Saturday, June 13 (10 a.m. to 6 p.m.) and Sunday, June …

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Great grinds equal grand times

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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.   DAKOTA HARVEST BAKERS – Along with amazing French press coffee, Dakota Harvest has some of the best buns in town!  For sweets lovers like me, the ginormous caramel sticky buns and cinnamon rolls are definitely the way to go.  Although, I definitely wouldn’t turn down one of their butterscotch scones, raspberry white chocolate muffins or Special K bars.  Location: 17 North 3rd Street, 701-772-2100   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 and Iced Campfire Mocha.  They even have drinks for little ones including a yummy Hot Chocolate and Mango Orange Smoothie.  Location: 2400 South Washington Street, 701-775-3668   COFFEE COMPANY – This Grand Forks original is the only place in town that actually …

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See true talent at the Chester Fritz Auditorium

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Today’s blog is from Hailie Pelka, University of North Dakota student and Greater Grand Forks Convention & Visitors Bureau intern.   You don’t have to travel to New York or Chicago to see true talent. Since October of 1972 the Chester Fritz Auditorium has been home to traveling acts, nationally acclaimed and local performances. Programs vary from country western, ballet, Broadway Theatre, University of North Dakota ensembles and many more.   There is not a bad seat in the house. The Chester Fritz, holding up to 2,400 audience members, has a unique layout with the seats being relatively close to the stage even if you are sitting in the mezzanine or balcony. The seats are comfy and the staff is more than accommodating.   This year’s performances are flying by but there is still time to experience the beauty and talent that the Chester Fritz holds. Winner of four 2010 Tony Awards including Best Musical, Memphis: the Musical will grace the stage tonight, March 3, at 7:30 p.m. Simply Three will enhance your classical music experience on Thursday night, March 26, at 7:30 p.m. The Grand Forks Chorales and the University of North Dakota Department of Music present Felix Mendelssohn’s …

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Romancing your Valentine in Grand style

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Valentine’s Day is fast approaching.  Don’t have any plans yet with your significant other?  Well then, you best read on!  Luckily, Greater Grand Forks has lots of great date options and here are my Top 5:   1. ON THE BOARDWALK.  Drive your date to the East Side for a flick and some food.  Start out the evening with an early showing of the new movie “Fifty Shades of Gray” at River Cinema 15.  Afterward, journey across the street to Blue Moose.  Located on the popular Boardwalk dining district, it’s the perfect spot for a juicy-licious burger stuffed with bleu cheese, mushrooms and ham or some sweet ‘n’ sassy Norwegian barbecue ribs.  Quench your thirst with a choice of nearly fifty brews of beer in their Back Forty Bar.   2. UPSCALE DOWNTOWN.  The Toasted Frog is the best place around to get pickled.  By that I mean their martinis and deep-fried cheesy pickles will make your head spin.  Then stroll hand-in-hand down 3rd Street to Sanders for a 5-star dinner with your 5-star sweetie that includes champagne, Maryland crab cakes, filet mignon with peppercorn sauce and a crème caramel that comes topped with fresh fruit and whipped cream.   …

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Country stars take the Grand stage

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At a typical concert, the audience has a good time.  For me, however, the trademark of an awesome concert is when both the crowd and performers are all having a great time.  According to several rave reviews, both Eric Church and Luke Bryan definitely serve up the latter.  Even though both play in a new city almost every night, their strong, earnest voices and high energy level are said to be consistent with every performance.  That’s why we are so excited to announce that Church will be bringing his The Outsiders Tour to Ralph Engelstad Arena, on April 7, at 7:30 p.m.  Then on May 8, at 7:00 p.m., Bryan’s Kick Up the Dust Tour comes to the Alerus Center.   With a slew of Top 20 songs to his credit, Eric Church’s popularity continues soaring to new heights.  His 2013 release and top selling CD to-date, Chief, won ACM Album of the Year and spawned two #1 songs, “Springsteen” and “Drink In My Hand”.  Church knows how to be a rebellious rocker one moment, then turn around and wow the crowd with a sentimental ballad.  His mass appeal fills the seats with an eclectic mix of grandparents, tattooed teens …

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The 2015 Official Visitors Guide to Greater Grand Forks has arrived, and it’s SIMPLY GRAND!

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60,000 copies of the most informative and comprehensive guide about Greater Grand Forks has arrived at the Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB). The guide has a fresh look while keeping the same level of quality, which the CVB has become known for, as well as the “simply grand” brand synonymous with Greater Grand Forks.   The guide will be distributed at local hotels and businesses; Minnesota and North Dakota statewide information centers; CAA offices in Manitoba; through One Fufillment (ND Tourism Division distribution program); University of North Dakota; Grand Forks Air Force Base and Grand Forks International Airport. Organizations such as Altru Health System, The Chamber and Economic Development Corporation use the guide in recruitment efforts as well. The CVB also distributes the guide in the Visitor Information Center (serving approximately 20,000 visitors per year), at trade shows, in event hospitality packets and visitor inquiry packets. The guide may be downloaded via visitgrandforks.com.   To pick up your copy, stop by the Visitor Information Center located at 4251 Gateway Drive (junction of Interstate 29 and Highway 2). Not local? Request a copy by sending an e-mail to info@visitgrandforks.com, calling 800.866.4566 or online.  

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Court me

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If you’re a fan of bouncing balls and like to shake your pompoms, a University of North Dakota basketball game is a must-attend event!  Even though the men’s and women’s programs are only in the third year of official DI status, they’re already a force to be reckoned with.    Picked to finish atop the Big Sky Conference, third-year head coach Travis Brewster will once again be directing a squad of very gifted young women.  Leading scorers Mia Lloyd and Emily Evers will light up the scoreboard, while fiery guards Kelsey Knox and Leah Szabla frustrate opponents with their quickness and tenacity.  UND also has a full slate of other potent weapons including sophomore Makailah Dyer and freshman Bailey Strand.   Veteran head coach Brian Jones takes his club into this season on the heels of a 12-8 record in 2013-14 and a postseason tournament appearance.  Starters Quinton Hooker and Jaron Nash head a team of skilled players at both the offensive and defensive ends of the court.  And the tall ‘n’ talented 7-0 freshman Carson Shanks is definitely one to watch.   Along with a chance to see two of the most exciting young teams in the country compete, …

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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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