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Five Fabulous Food Farmers’ Market Finds

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  Travel writer Shel Zolkewich selects a handful of tasty treats to sample as you stroll the market on a summery Saturday morning.   Market season is upon us! And there’s no better place for foodies to taste the bounty of the season than at The Town Square Farmers’ Market, open every Saturday from 9am to 1:30 pm at the corner of 3rd Street and Demers Avenue. Whether you come to the market hungry and want to snack and stroll—or take home some treats for dinner, the market offers delicious options, all locally made and fresh as can be.   Kick off your visit with a stop at Bully Brew Coffee for a cold-brewed coffee. It comes in a reusable plastic cup that turns blue when it gets cold! It’ll keep you energized at you explore the rest of the market. You could also opt for a hot coffee and a variety of every-changing treats including a monster cookie, scone or toffee bar. This local business has four bustling locations, and plans to open a fifth in East Grand Forks this summer. Coffee for one and all!   The irresistible aroma of freshly roasted nuts is coming from the far …

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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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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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Wooing your Valentine in #SimplyGrand style

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Valentine’s Day is fast approaching.  Don’t have any plans yet with your significant other?  Well then, you best read on!  Luckily, Greater Grand Forks has lots of great date options and here are my Top 5:   LOVE ON THE EAST SIDE. Drive your date to downtown East Grand Forks for a romantic movie and some ‘heart’y food.  Start out the evening with an earlier showing at River Cinema 15, perhaps in one of the theaters with new heated recliner seating.  Afterward, journey down the Riverwalk Centre hallway and canoodle over noodles at Mamma Maria’s.  Just some of the divine dishes to try are the classic homemade lasagna, chicken milano, lobster ravioli and cranberry tortellini.  And of course, a nice bottle of vino is a must.   UPSCALE AFFAIR. The Toasted Frog is the best place around to get pickled.  By that, I mean their martinis and deep-fried cheesy pickles are so amazing, they’ll make your head spin!  Upon exiting the Frog, grab your date’s hand, then stroll down 3rd Street, over and up to Sky’s on the 2nd floor of 322 DeMers.  Treat your 5-star sweetie to a 5-star dinner that includes classic cocktails, crab cakes, a king or …

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Forksful of weekend fun

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Sadly, summer is coming to an end but in these two towns, we plan on sending that season out with a bang!  This weekend alone, here are just five of many SimplyGrand to-dos:   GET BOWLED OVER.  One of our region’s most popular festivals celebrating one of our most popular staple crops, Potato Bowl Week USA offers up a spudtacular time for all September 5-9! Some of the highlights include the World’s Largest French Fry Feed & Fireworks Display on Thursday and Get Wet & Run Wild! Kids Fun Run on Friday.  The week culminates Saturday with a Potato Pancake Breakfast (7:30 AM to 1 PM at Sons of Norway), Parade (10 AM down University Avenue), Tailgate Party (beginning at 8 AM in Alerus Center parking lot) and the 52nd Annual Potato Bowl Football Game featuring our UND Fighting Hawks taking on Missouri State (4 PM kick-off at Alerus Center).   STOP, SHOP & ROCK.  September 8 and 9, from 11 AM to 6 PM on Friday and 9 AM to 6 PM on Saturday, DeMers & 3rd will be hoppin’ during the 2nd Annual Downtown Street Fair!  Dozens of food trucks will be on hand, as well as a …

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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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Take the Grand Tour

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Whether you’re a lifelong resident, new-to-town or just visiting, our new Downtown Walking Tours will teach you all about our Simply Grand Forks! Listed below is information for this summer’s schedule. Best of all, every excursion has a special theme that makes each one unique.   June 10, 10:30 AM to 12: 30 PM, Town Square – ART OF DOWNTOWN GRAND FORKS                                                                                                                   Special feature: Public art located throughout downtown Grand Forks, including art-related events and projects inspired by local and regional artists.   June 24, 4 to 6 PM, Town Square – BEER & SALOONS OF GRAND FORKS  Special feature: Grand Forks has had a rich history involving beer, saloons and alcohol. This tour will include stops at local establishments that may require guess to be 21 years of age or older.   July 29, 3:30 to 5:30 PM, Town Square – GRAND RIVER CITY OF THE NORTH                                                                                                                                      Special feature: Our Red River of the North is the largest northern flowing river in the northern hemisphere. Grand Forks was founded, named and earned national attention because of our river; so, this tour is dedicated to the unique relationship our community has with our nearest body of water.   August 19, 1 …

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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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pARTy up downtown

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Mark your calendars now for the second Saturday and Sunday in June…which just happens to be the 10th and 11th this year. Why? That’s when the Town Square, Greenway and Cabela’s parking lot will be lined with great shopping, entertainment, food and plenty of fun during Art on the Red 2017! Formerly known as Grand Cities Art Fest, the Public Arts Commission (PAC) Art on the Red will feature over 120 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 fry bread tacos, bison burgers and barbecue ribs. 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? …

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