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Category Archives: Arts & Culture

What’s up is Downtown

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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 kicks off June 16 and takes place every Saturday through September, from 9 AM to 1:30 PM, 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 are held at 1 PM during every Farmers Market.   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 of our …

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pARTy up down by the Red

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Get ready…this weekend the Greenway, Town Square and Cabela’s parking lot will be lined with great shopping, entertainment, food and plenty of fun during Art on the Red 2018!  Formerly known as Grand Cities Art Fest, the Public Arts Commission (PAC) Art on the Red will feature over 150 quality artists and crafters from around the nation selling their wares.  Examples of the different media include ceramics, drawing, glass, jewelry, metal, naturals and painting.  Dozens of food vendors will be on hand to tantalize your taste buds with everything from caramel apples, funnel cakes and kettle korn to Indian fry bread tacos, Southern barbecue and Somali samosas.  And don’t forget to check out NoVAC’s Arts in Action, Fine Arts Avenue, Kids’ Corner and the Main Stage.   NoVAC’s Arts in Action: Are you curious about how artists turn raw materials into amazing works of art?  At Arts in Action, sculptors will perform live demonstrations of their art-making process in the Town Square.   Fine Arts Avenue: What happens when you take simple, inexpensive materials and add inspiration and talent?  You get Fine Arts Avenue where more than 25 of the region’s finest artists will be offering items worthy of any art …

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Six SimplyGrand Gifts for Mom

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Mom loved and raised you…time to raise the bar and show her just how much you appreciate and love her back!  Sunday, May 13, is Mother’s Day and the perfect chance to express your feelings.  In case you forgot or haven’t figured out yet what to get her, here are just a half dozen suggestions:   One can never go wrong with dinner and a movie. First, take her to a special Mother’s Day Brunch at Crooked Pint, Eagle’s Crest Grill, Ely’s Ivy, Ground Round, Hilton Garden Café or Sky’s.  Follow that with a matinee of the soon to be released mother-daughter flick, “Life of the Party”, starring Melissa McCarthy, at River Cinema 15 or AMC Classic 10 Theater.   Is mom an 80s rocker chick, by chance? A certificate to The Darkside Tattoo plus tickets to Metallica on September 8, at Alerus Center, would equal one forkin’ grand gift!   A bouquet is ok but how about putting a new spin on it? Escort mom to All Season’s Garden Center, tour her through the amazing greenhouse and then let her pick out a planter or two for her garden or patio.   She put Pampers on you as a …

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See life through rosé colored glasses

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Just 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) joined forces to host one of the most popular annual events our community has ever known.  A few years back, the CVB handed over its duties to the Downtown Development Association (DDA) who now partner with the Public Arts Commission (PAC) to ensure Art & Wine Walk remains as SimplyGrand as ever!   Traditionally, this event has been a monthly summer-only occurrence.  However, organizers have now decided to hold Walks throughout the year, with the next one scheduled for Saturday, May 19, from 1 to 5 PM.  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 appetizers, along with featuring live music.   On the day of the event, a wristband and map listing participating …

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Where to find hot brews & cool beans

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Seattle and Portland may have started the whole coffeehouse craze but Grand Forks has definitely perfected it!  Throughout our two towns, we have several java joints (some locally owned, some national chains) ready to brew you up a cup of deliciousness.  Each has a little something different to offer…but all offer a great place to have a grand time.   BULLY BREW COFFEE COMPANY – This Grand Forks original is the only place in town that actually roasts their own beans.  The Cowboy Coffee is my favorite blend and since they can bag it to-go, y’all can brew up a cup for yourself at home anytime.  Make sure to also try one of their famous fresh baked caramel rolls or scones.  Locations: 2100 S Columbia Rd; 4571 S Washington St; 2900 14th Ave S   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, Peanut Butter Mocha and Iced Caramel High Rise.  They even have drinks for little ones including a yummy Hot Chocolate and Strawberry Banana Smoothie.  The South Columbia Road location also serves up fresh baked …

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SimplyGrand values for our valued visitors

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During times when the economy/exchange rate may not be so great, we realize how you spend your money is more important than ever.  When you visit Greater Grand Forks, you’ll find a variety of top-notch accommodations, 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 deals out there.  Our website Discounts page will have lots of awesome new offers going live April 1!  You’ll also wanna make sure to stop in the Visitor Center (4251 Gateway Drive, I-29 Exit 141) to pick up a hot-off-the-press 2018-19 SimplyGrand $avings Coupon Book.  It includes great discounts at over 60 local businesses including: Holiday Inn Express; Staybridge Suites; Caribou Coffee; Mexican Village; Paola’s Pastries; Up North Pizza Pub; Cost Cutters; Kittsona; Maurices; King’s Walk Golf Course and Northern Air Family Fun Center.  We also have copies of Best of the Forks that will provide lots more coupons to use.   Even though we offer a grand getaway, it definitely won’t cost you a grand.  Moreover, as our …

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Concerts, productions & shows worthy of standing O’s

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Want to experience the Grand Ole Opry without ever leaving good ole Grand Forks?  Or perhaps enjoy a taste of Broadway on DeMers Avenue downtown?  Within the next few months alone, our many amazing venues will be offering up a plethora of entertaining events to satisfy a variety of tastes!   March 15-17 & 22-24 – “Melancholy Play” at Empire Arts Center March 15-18, 22-25 & 29-31 – “Agatha Christie: And Then There Were None” at Fire Hall Theater March 17 – The Breakers Tour: Little Big Town, Kacey Musgraves & Midland at Ralph Engelstad Arena March 17 – North Dakota Ballet Company presents “Snow White” at Empire Arts Center March 21 – The Illusionists: Live from Broadway at Chester Fritz Auditorium March 25 – Telegraph Quartet at North Dakota Museum of Art March 30 – “Run Like Hell: A Pink Floyd Show” at Empire Arts Center April 4 – Foreigner & the Dave Eggar Orchestra at Chester Fritz Auditorium April 24 – UND Wind Ensemble & University Band at Chester Fritz Auditorium May 3 – Thomas Rhett at Alerus Center May 6 – Symphony Sunday: The Music of Brazil at Empire Arts Center May 10-12, 17-19 & 24-26 – …

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Great things are springing up at Alerus Center

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No need for April showers…the Alerus Center is already blooming with simply grand events before, during and after that time!  With new General Manager Anna Rosburg at the helm, Grand Forks’ premiere entertainment and convention facility will be hopping, more than ever before, with a variety of different events.   March 2-3: 2018 First Robotics Competition March 20-22: 25th Annual ArtWise Elementary Art Show March 23-25: Home Design & Garden Show 2018 March 31: 16th Annual Kids Easter Egg Scramble April 13-15: Jurassic Quest April 14: GF Horticultural Society presents Gardening Saturday 2018 April 21: Toughest Monster Truck Tour Championship Weekend April 21-22: Red River Valley Motorcyclists 2018 Motorcycle Show May 3: Thomas Rhett w/special guests Brett Young & Russell Dickerson May 20: Five Finger Death Punch & Shinedown w/special guests Starset & Bad Wolves   For more information, including ticket/admission prices, go to www.aleruscenter.com.   If you’d like to grab a bite or enjoy some cocktails before or after your event, there are several awesome spots nearby to indulge and imbibe.  Just some of them include: Aalto’s, Tavern United and l’Bistro in Canad Inns Destination Center; Crooked Pint Ale House; Grand Junction Subs; Ramada Aroma Café & Dreamers Lounge; …

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Building blocks of fun in Greater Grand Forks

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If you build it, they will come.  That’s what the staff of HB Sound & Light believed back in 2015…and they were correct.  The 3rd Annual Holiday LEGO Display, December 8-26, 2017, is backand better than ever!   This free, family-friendly event features thousands of toy blocks being used to re-create Grand Forks blocks.  Numerous iconic buildings and landmarks, such as Widman’s Candy Shop and the Smiley water tower, come alive in a magical miniature LEGO-inspired wonderland.  It all takes place Downtown, in the HB Warehouse, at 101 North 8th Street.  Business hours are 10 AM to 6 PM on weekdays and Saturdays from 10 AM to 3 PM.   Even though that would be totally awesome on its own, they didn’t stop there!  In addition to the simply grand displays, there will also be several special Open House happenings:    December 8, 5 to 8 PM (21+ ONLY): Tickets may be purchased online or at the door for $20 and include three drink tickets, hors d’oeuvres by North Dakota Museum of Art Cafe, live music, plus the chance to win a limited-edition Whisky by Far North Spirits and LEGO Architecture set. Alcohol may be purchased at the event from …

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Go Grand for the holidays

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Not really in the spirit of the season yet?  I know what will put the jingle in everyone’s bells and the jolly in their holly, as well!  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 sparkling events galore.   Following is a list of holiday happenings that are sure to get you feeling very merry. Through Dec. 24: Visit & Pictures with Santa at Columbia Mall Through Dec. 31: Christmas in the Park Holiday Lights Tour at Lincoln Drive Park Nov. 28-30 & Dec. 1-3: Irving Berlin’s “White Christmas” at Empire Arts Center Nov. 30-Dec. 3: Muddy Waters Winter Showcase at Muddy Waters Clay Center Dec. 2: Heritage Christmas Festival 2017 at Heritage Village Dec. 2: Winter wUNDerland Concert at Chester Fritz Auditorium Dec. 2-3: Holiday Home Tour 2017 at All Season’s Garden Center Dec. 3: Thursday Music Club Annual Christmas Musicale at Calvary Lutheran Church Dec. 6: GF Historical Society presents A Rock & Roll Christmas Party at Ramada Grand Forks Dec. 7-10: “A Christmas Carol” Radio Play at Fire Hall Theatre Dec. 7-10 & 14-17: Santa’s Village 2017 at Lincoln Park …

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