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Stop, rock and get rolling on The Greenway


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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Applause and curtain calls


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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Trendy, new music venue opens Downtown


Today’s blog is written by Michaela Schell, a local writer and business professional.   A new music venue has come to Downtown Grand Forks! You probably haven’t seen any big outdoor sign marking its location, actually you can’t even see the venue from the street. That’s because it is tucked away in one of Downtown’s already prominent landmarks… The Empire Arts Center. What used to be a staging area behind the theater has be recreated into a trendy little social area the Empire is calling “The Backstage Project.”  The Empire’s website describes it as a place “designed to utilize creative, urban spaces for live music performances by local and regional artists.” I call it “pretty cool.” Grand Forks is lucky to have the large scale concert venues such as the Alerus Center and Ralph Engelstad Arena and mid-size venues like the Empire’s and the Chester Fritz Auditorium’s stages for fairly large performances, but we have always been missing that small, intimate space where local artists can perform to an up-close and personal crowd. Until now. The Backstage Project kicked off its first show of the series on April 5th with music from local jazz band favorite, Jazz On Tap. Jazz …

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Simply grand events – week of August 20

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Royally rocking the Ralph


“For someone who has played countless concerts and churned out numerous albums, Sir Elton never lets his skill, energy and gratitude for the crowd fade throughout his nearly three-hour-long show,” this according to one reporter who recently saw John perform live.  Even though the iconic entertainer has played various arenas all over the world, his stage show is said to be tailored specifically to each venue.  And fortunately for Greater Grand Forks, Elton John & His Band will be appearing live at Ralph Engelstad Arena (REA), March 24, at 8 p.m. John’s talented musicians include Davey Johnstone on guitar, Bob Birch on bass, John Mahon on percussion, Nigel Olsson on drums and Kim Bullard on keyboards.  One of the most successful live bands on the road today, Elton & His Band put on the kind of concert you will never forget.  The entire audience will be standing, dancing and singing along with much-loved classic songs like “Rocket Man”, “Bennie & the Jets”, “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart”, “Your Song”, “Philadelphia Freedom”, “Someone Saved My Life Tonight”, “Crocodile Rock”, “Tiny Dancer”, “Levon” and “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me”. “Elton John is an entertainment legend,” said REA General Manager …

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My simply grand week…

ND Museum of Art Concerts in the Garden

This is going to be a great week in the Grand Cities!  I am looking forward to enjoying all that the town has to offer in the summer.  This is just a sample of my plans for the week… Tonight I have a meeting, but it won’t be without fun and great food, as it is taking place at the new restaurant, Jake’s.  Since I have only been there once, I am really excited to check out some of their food especially the Red Pepper Lavosh. On Tuesday I will grab the family and head over to the ND Museum of Art for the third installment of the 2011 Concerts in the Garden music series.  The Boston-based band and critically acclaimed, David Wax Museum, will headline while local artist, Xavier Pastrano, will open the show at 6 p.m.  Tickets are $5 in advance or $8 at the door, and there is great food including burgers and brats available in the museum’s garden.  With a weather prediction of mostly sunny and 75 degrees what more could we need? Since there is another good weather prediction for Wednesday, my husband and I plan to meet friends on the rooftop of Rhombus for …

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Spring events at the Fritz

Chester Fritz Auditorium

Where can you go to hear everything from Broadway show tunes and Irish songs to classical masterpieces and Sousa marches?  If you answered the Chester Fritz Auditorium, you are correct!  The Fritz’s upcoming spring schedule is sure to please a wide variety of musical tastes.  An auditorium layout that makes you feel at one with the production and the amazing acoustics only add to the experience.  Explore a little of the Fritz’s great history by strolling down the halls lined with autographed pictures of past performers.  No matter what show(s) you choose, it guaranteed to be a performance worthy of a standing ovation. April 1 @ 10 .m. – GGF Symphony Orchestra Youth Concert April 14 @ 7:30 p.m. – “The Music Man” April 16 @ 8 p.m. – UND Pride of the North Marching Band April 27 @ 7:30 p.m. – University Band & Wind Ensemble April 30 @ 7 p.m. – Heartland of America Band May 16 @ 7:30 p.m. – Daniel O’Donnell May 21 @ 8 p.m. – GGF Symphony Orchestra Tickest are available at the Chester Fritz Box Office, all Ticketmaster locations, charge by phone (701.772.5151) or online.  For additional information check out the Fritz online.

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