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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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Putting the excitement on ice


In full discloser, I grew up in small North Dakota town where high school hoops ruled. Even though basketball 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 Lisa Marvin and Amy Menke, UND is sure to see playoff action again this season.   The University of North Dakota Fighting Hawks Men’s team, with veteran coach and former UND hockey handout Brad Berry at the helm, is looking to end the season atop the NCHC. The whole crowd will jump to its feet after every goal and with future NHL stars like Gage Ausmus and Brock Boeser 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 …

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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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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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Get going on The Greenway


The Greater Grand Forks Greenway is a huge public recreational space bordering the Red River and Red Lake River in the adjacent cities of Grand Forks, ND and East Grand Forks, MN. At 2,200 acres, it is more than twice the size of New York City’s famous Central Park!   One of the most prominent features of The Greenway is its extensive 20-mile system of paths which are used by bikers, walkers, joggers, inline skaters and cross-country skiers. In 2007, the system was designated as a National Recreation Trail by the National Park Service. There are also several city parks and two golf courses along The Greenway. Other amenities include wildlife observation areas, a campground, fishing spots, interpretive displays, wildflower gardens and sites for various athletic activities including volleyball, horseshoes, disc golf and ice skating. Throughout the year, The Greenway and nearby space is also used to host several festivals and events.   The Greenway, developed after the devastating Red River Flood of 1997, encompasses major portions of the two communities that lie within the floodplain. After the flood, several neighborhoods were removed to make way for a massive new dike flood protection system; The Greenway includes the land that …

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A fabulous Farmers Market and far more


If you’re interested in doing some shopping but still want to enjoy the beautiful summer weather, then check out the popular Outdoor Farmers Market. It takes place every Saturday, mid-June 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 goods and salsas to handmade jewelry and pottery. You’ll also be able to enjoy an array of tantalizing concessions while enjoying some great live entertainment on the main stage. If you’d like to learn more about how our fabulous Forks were founded, guided Historical Walking Tours, “History Alive”, 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 the streets and experience a place where the past and present meet. Historic buildings house 21st century businesses. Attractive public art captures the city’s history and natural surroundings in small “pocket parks” scattered throughout …

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