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Flipping the bird

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Looking to get your gobble on in Greater Grand Forks this Thanksgiving?  If you don’t feel like going through all the hassle of making it yourself, we have several restaurants serving up a feast.  Luckily, they’ve got a spot reserved just for you…and it’s not even at the kids’ table!    Aaltos: 1000 S 42nd St (Canad Inn), Grand Forks, 701-792-1957; 9 AM to 12 PM (brunch) and 12 to 8 PM (buffet) B&B’s Restaurant:  1205 N 43rd St (Ramada), Grand Forks, 701-775-3951; 7 to 11 AM (brunch) and 11 AM to 2 PM (dinner) Big Sioux Café:   4401 32nd Ave S Grand Forks, 701-738-0441; open 24/7 (turkey dinner and regular menu) Blue Moose Bar & Grill: 507 2nd Ave S East Grand Forks, 218-773-6516; 11 AM to 8 PM (all-you-can-eat turkey dinner served to your table and regular menu) Buffalo Wild Wings:  2717 S Columbia Rd, Grand Forks, 701-775-9464; 11 AM to close (regular menu) Denny’s:  3770 32nd Ave S, Grand Forks, 701-757-1148; 24/7 (turkey dinner and regular menu) Eagles Crest Grill:  5301 S Columbia Rd (King’s Walk Golf Course), Grand Forks, 701-787-3491; 11 AM to 4 PM (buffet) *call for reservations IHOP:  3951 32nd Ave, Grand Forks, 701-775-7001; 24/7 (turkey dinner and …

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Early bird shopping

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Looking to gobble up some bargains after you’ve gobbled up your turkey dinner?  As you probably already know, many stores are choosing to forgo Black Friday and open on Thanksgiving Thursday instead.   No worries…inquiring staff at the Greater Grand Forks Convention & Visitors Bureau have checked around and done the leg/drumstick work for you!  Below is a list of stores and their post-bird hours:   Kmart: Open at 8 a.m. on Thanksgiving Best Buy: Open at 5 p.m. on Thanksgiving JCPenney: Open at 5 p.m. on Thanksgiving Sears: Open at 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving Shopko: Open at 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving Target: Open at 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving Walmart: Open at 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving Kohl’s: Open at 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving Macy’s: Open at 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving Gordmans: Open at 5 a.m. on Black Friday Lowes: Open at 5 a.m. on Black Friday Cabela’s: Open at 5 a.m. on Black Friday Menard’s: Open at 6 a.m. on Black Friday Sam’s Club: Open at 7 a.m. on Black Friday    

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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 …

Posted in: Entertainment, Events, shows and concerts, Travel & Tourism, Uncategorized
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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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We are happy in Grand Forks!

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Today’s blog comes from Greater Grand Forks Convention & Visitors Bureau executive director, Julie Rygg.   Gallup recently unveiled their annual ranking of well-being in the United States, and guess who ranked first? It was North Dakota (Minnesota was close at fourth)! That tells us, for the most part, North Dakotans are the happiest people in the U.S. I tend to agree with this report. We are quite happy here and there are many big reasons, but there are also lots of small things that we find great joy in!   Now I now it has been a long winter all over the county, and I like to look for some of those fun little things to brighten my day and add enjoyment. I am sharing my current five faves with you. Enjoy!   1. The martinis at the Toasted Frog are amazing. If you haven’t had one yet, I highly recommend them. My favorite is the Pink Lemonade. It is the perfect combination of sweet and sour and reminds me of a warm summer day.   2. There is nothing better than a hot mocha on a cold winter morning. My ultimate favorite place for a hot coffee is …

Posted in: Sports & Recreation, Travel & Tourism, Uncategorized
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Greater Grand Forks: A Tale of Two Hotels

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Today’s blog is written Shel Zolkewich, Manitoba travel and food blogger and friend to Greater Grand Forks.   Accommodations abound in Greater Grand Forks. There is truly a room for every traveler – whether you need the comforts of home (and more) or are in search of a rock-bottom deal. Let’s look at a couple of options.   Travelodge, 2100 South Washington Street, Grand Forks We have been staying at the Travelodge for so long that we still sometimes call it by its old name – The North Star Inn. There’s something to be said for a hotel that retains customers for decades upon decades. What the Travelodge might lack in fanciness, it makes up for in service and value. I’m not sure you can find friendlier front desk staff anywhere. And it’s not just one individual that stands out. They are all a joy to deal with and they always have been. The rooms are big – likely the biggest hotel rooms we’ve ever seen, each outfitted with a microwave and fridge. It has an old-style pool area and that means the pool itself is big – perfect for a game of keepaway with family and friends. The hot …

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Summer fun for families

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Today’s blog is written by Michaela Schell, a local writer and business professional.   As the years pass, I find myself looking more and more for kid friendly events that cater to our growing family. The more I search for things to do with my toddler, the more I find. The Grand Cities are extremely family friendly and offer lots of things to do with kids. The best part is a majority of them are free! As a stay-at-home mom, any kid event, whether it be a simple library story time or a big circus, that get us out of the house is a welcome occurrence.   So, here are just a few of the upcoming kid and family events happening in the Grand Cities this summer.   Movies in the Park (begins June 12) – The Grand Forks Park District hosts movies on an outdoor big screen at various parks around town. The kid-firendly shows are free and begin at sundown (around 9 p.m.). June 12 – The Muppets at University Park June 26 – Madagascar 2 at University Park July 16 – Harry Potter at Lincoln Park July 30 – Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs at Lincoln …

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2011 Hometown Heroes honored last night

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Tourism Contributor and Organization of the Year

Last night the Greater Grand Forks Convention & Visitors Bureau hosted our annual Hometown Heroes Awards Celebration. This gives the CVB team an opportunity to recognize and honor all the hardworking individuals and organizations we work with year after year. Without them we would not have as many visitors traveling to Grand Forks nor would we have so many events. The following individuals ann organizations were honored: Cheri Reitmeier (Canad Inns, Farmer’s Market and Blues on the Red) – Tourism Contributor of the Year Rick Defea (Road King Inn) – Hospitality Person of the Year River Cities Speedway (Monica Evavold) – Organization of the Year Kelly Rotar (Special Olympics of ND) – Event Organizer of the Year UND Writers Conference (Dr. Crystal Alberts) – Event of the Year The event was great fun even with the threat of a winter storm, which didn’t hit Grand Forks. It was held at the historic Empire Arts Center with catering from Al’s Grill.  Their tips and toast, queso dip, wraps and walleye fingers were a hit. The most eye-catching part of the event though had to be the stage, erected by HB Sound & Light. They did a fabulous job of taking our …

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