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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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Entertaining you in simply grand style

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The Alerus Center, Grand Forks’ premiere performance and convention complex, is the perfect place to entertain and be entertained.  Completed in 2001, with a recent remodel and new additions, it is considered one of the top facilities in the country.   The main arena, with a full set seating capacity of 21,000, has been used for a wide variety of events.   As home to Division I-AA University of North Dakota football, they’ve hosted many exciting college games, in addition to other sports ranging from professional basketball and wrestling to bull riding and motocross.  Some of the most popular performers in the nation – including Cher, Britney Spears, George Strait, Luke Bryan, Tim McGraw, Aerosmith and The Eagles – have all taken center stage at the Alerus.  Because of a new state-of-the-art sound system, featuring Fulcrum loudspeakers, you’ll find the acoustics to be astounding, especially for such a large arena.   When you’re searching for a venue to hold a smaller show, convention, conference, family gathering or wedding, the Alerus Center’s 12 meeting rooms and 25,000 square foot ballroom provide a perfect fit.  The friendly, knowledgeable staff will be there every step of the way to ensure your special event exceeds …

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LegeNDary haunts equal SimplyGraND times

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This Halloween, spirits from our community’s past will descend upon the normally quiet grounds of the Grand Forks Historical Society (2405 Belmont Road) to fill your evening with fright and fun.  The 9th Annual Legends of Terror Haunted House is guaranteed to be a hair-raising, heart pounding happening!  It runs from 8 PM to Midnight both Friday, October 20 and Saturday, October 21.  If you’re a little ghoul who prefers not-too-scary stories and way-too-sweet treats, there is a special Half Pint Haunt just for you on Sunday, October 29, from 1 to 4 PM.   However, that’s just the tip of the events iceberg!  Listed below are more all hallowed eve type to-dos: Nelson’s Pumpkin Patch & Gruesome Granary Haunted House – through October 29; 3 to 6 PM (Weekdays) & 11 AM to 6 PM (Weekends); 2448 20th Ave NE, Emerado Black Cat Bash – October 24; 5:30 to 7:30 PM; First Season Community Center “The Rocky Horror Picture Show LIVE” – October 27, 28 & 31; 11:59 PM; Empire Arts Center Jingle Bell Run: Halloween Edition – October 28; Kids 1-Mile Monster Dash at 9 AM & 5K Zombie Run/Walk at 9:30 AM; Choice Health & Fitness Haunted …

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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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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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Super Saturday in the City

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Travel writer Shel Zolkewich puts together an action-packed itinerary to make the most of your summer Saturday in Grand Forks.   Start your day with a little exercise! The indoor pool at the newly remodeled Ramada Inn is big, bright and beautiful. Plus the adjoining hot tub means the pool is always pleasantly warm—no need to shiver during your dip. This classic hotel boasts a restaurant and bar onsite along with all the amenities you need including a fitness center and pet-friendly rooms.   Make your first stop Bully Brew Coffee, a made-in-Grand Forks success story, now with four bustling locations, including one in Fargo. Treat yourself to the White Chocolate Mocha—espresso, sweet white chocolate powder and steamed milk—and you’ll soon see why it’s the shop’s bestseller.   To market! To market! It’s a feast of color and creativity at The Town Square Farmers’ Market every Saturday from 9am to 1:30 pm at the corner of 3rd Street and Demers Avenue. Handmade goods, local vegetables and fresh baking are piled high as shoppers stroll the riverside market. The hot ticket seems to be The Bakers Wagon, where there’s an unending line-up of folks, no doubt stocking up on fried pies, …

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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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Stock up Downtown: 1 Farmers Market + 2 Grand Forks

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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 takes place every Saturday through September, from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., 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, hosted by the Greater Grand Forks Community Theatre, are held at 1 PM during every Farmers Market beginning in July.   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 …

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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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Ideas for a SimplyGrand Mother’s Day

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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! This Sunday, May 14, 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.  Take her to a special Mother’s Day Brunch at Hilton’s Garden Café, Ground Round, Eagle’s Crest Grill or Aroma Café at Ramada.  Follow that with a matinee of the popular new Amy Schumer-Goldie Hawn mother-daughter flick, “Snatched”, at River Cinema 15 or AMC Classic 10 Theater. 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. Is mom an 80s rocker babe, by chance?  A gift certificate from Darkside Tattoo plus tickets to the Poison concert, May 27, at Alerus Center, would be “nothin’ but a good time” for her. She put Pampers on you as a baby; so, pamper her with …

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