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Value vacationing in Greater Grand Forks

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During times when the exchange rate and/or economy may not be ideal, we realize how you spend your money is more important than ever.  When visiting our two towns, you’ll find a variety of top-notch lodging, dining, shopping and entertainment options at unbelievably low prices.   Should our community have the privilege of hosting you, either for a weeklong vacation or weekend getaway, the Greater Grand Forks Convention & Visitors Bureau will assist in any way possible to help find the best buys out there.  The Grand Forks App (which can be downloaded at Google Play or the App Store) and website (www.visitgrandforks.com) Deals & Discounts pages feature awesome offers at a variety of local businesses.   Below is a list of Visitors’ Top 5 Most Redeemed Offers: 20% off room rack rate at Rodeway Inn $74 Sunday-Thursday room rate at Expressway Suites Buy one, get one free on any in-store items at Northern Roots Boutique (lesser priced item will be free) $5 off a purchase of two Sunday brunch, buffet, lunch or dinners at Eagle’s Crest Grill Free admission to the North Dakota Museum of Art Make sure to stop in our Visitor Center, as well, to pick up …

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Play up Downtown

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Besides being one of the most charming buildings in Greater Grand Forks, the historic Fire Hall Theatre has become a downtown hot spot for great live performing art. Home to the Greater Grand Forks Community Theatre Company (GGFCT), this talented troop’s 70th Season of shows is nothing less than stellar! With everything from youthful musicals to ageless dramas, their upcoming productions will have you laughing, crying and up on your feet, giving a standing ovation.   As proof of its diversity, peruse the GGFCT 2017-18 schedule: September 28-30, 2017 – “The Charitable Sisterhood of the Second Trinity Victory Church” –> Thelma & Louise meets the Church Basement Ladies in Bo Wilson’s popular comedic play. November 3-5 & 10-12, 2017 – “Disney’s High School Musical” –> This story of teen angst has been artfully adapted from the popular television movie. December 7-10, 2017 – “A Christmas Carol: The Radio Play” –> One of the most iconic holiday films ever gets performed in its original format. February 1-4, 8-11 & 15-17, 2018 – “Over the River and Through the Woods” –> When a single, Italian-American son/grandson from New Jersey decides to pursue his dream job out of state, the news doesn’t sit so well with his family. …

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Stop, rock and get rolling on The Greenway

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BREAKING NEWS: The Greenway of Greater Grand Forks is going to be overtaken!   No worries, though; it’ll be one SimplyGraND kind of invasion.  The Convention & Visitors Bureau is excited to announce that the 1st Annual Greenway Takeover Festival (GTF) will rock our two towns September 21-24, 2017! This multi-day music festival is set to take place Downtown, on The Greenway, just north of Sorlie Memorial Bridge. Each day you can expect top-notch local, regional and headlining music, plus a food truck alley, beer sales, picnic area and games for both kids and adults.  One of the best parts about this family-friendly celebration is that it was organized, in large part, to showcase the awesome community spirit that makes Grand Forks/East Grand Forks a great place to live and visit!   Here’s how the Takeover works. HB Sound & Light will be setting up a massive stage, sound system and light show on the green space next to our Red River of the North.  Headlining bands have been booked for each day.  Four local arts groups are charged with taking over a day in the festival and creating a unique sound and atmosphere for their respective day.  That means …

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Tater time fun for tots and adults

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This year marks the 52nd Anniversary of a SimplyGrand tradition known as Potato Bowl USA. The week of September 5-9, 2017, will be filled with entertaining events centering on our region’s most popular staple crop. There will be tons of tasty food including a potato pancake breakfast, baked potato bars and of course, the World’s Largest French Fry Feed & Fireworks display. Friday offers up a great time for the little ones at the Get Wet & Run Wild! Kids Fun Run…and a rockin’ time for adults later that night during JLG’s Rock the Streets Dance. The festivities culminate on Saturday with a parade, tailgate party and University of North Dakota football game. Make sure to bring the whole family out to one of North Dakota’s best and tastiest celebrations…it’s sure to be a spudtacular time for all!   Potato Bowl USA Week Highlights Tuesday, September 5 Potato Bowl PLINKO Contest begins – Register at any local Hugo’s Family Marketplace Wednesday, September 6 Potato Bowl Golf Scramble – 11 AM at Valley Golf Course Thursday, September 7 Baked Potato Bar – 11 AM to 1:30 PM at all local Hugo’s locations World’s Largest French Fry Feed (free fries courtesy of …

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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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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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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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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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Summer breezes bring #SimplyGrand times

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I know it doesn’t officially begin until June 21 but in Nortakota, any temp above 70 equals summer!  While there may be many, here are my top five seasonal outdoor to-dos:   GREAT BUYS UNDER GRAND SKIES.  Formerly known as Art Fest, Art on the Red 2017 will fill downtown Grand Forks and East Grand Forks with over 150 vendors selling everything from pottery and jewelry to kettle korn and fry bread tacos.  There’ll also be a beer garden and live music.  It all takes place June 10 & 11, 10 AM to 6 PM on Saturday and Sunday from 10 AM to 4 PM.   LISTENING SESSIONS.  If you’re a fellow music lover, definitely add the Happy Harry’s Blues on the Red Summer Music Series to your calendar.  It takes place the last Saturday of June, July and August in Town Square.  From 5 to 10 PM, hear some of our region’s top blues musicians while enjoying tasty eats and drinks served up by Brick & Barley.  Admission is free but the food and brews are extra.   NAVIGATING THE GREENWAY.  Strolling our beautifully groomed Greenway trail system is a perfect way to enjoy a sunny day. My favorite spot …

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Spend a SimplyGrand day in the Galleries

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Founded in the mid-1970s, the North Dakota Museum of Art began as the University of North Dakota Art Galleries, a temporary exhibition space primarily for the benefit of university students.  Then in 1981, the North Dakota State Legislature designated the University Galleries as our state’s official art museum. With its expanded mission came a new name: the North Dakota Museum of Art (NDMOA).   NDMOA currently collects contemporary, international art in all media.  It is charged with both gathering and displaying the visual history of the region.  The museum is also assembling a survey collection of contemporary Native American art, starting with the early 1970s when the movement emerged.   If you’re a fan of all things far out and fabulous, you definitely need to pay a visit to NDMOA, especially to check out the Barton Lidice Benes permanent exhibit.  Ranging from a mounted giraffe and warthog to tribal masks and antiques, this eclectic collection will leave you awestruck.  Acclaimed artist Barton Benes gifted the contents of his New York apartment to the museum, which includes over $1 million in African, Egyptian and contemporary art. Through tremendous fundraising efforts, NDMOA raised the money to dismantle his apartment in New York …

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