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Start your engines

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Have you ever wondered why racing is one of the world’s most popular spectator sports?  You won’t find the answer by watching premier racing on television…to truly experience all the action and excitement, you must see it live, up close and in person!   May through mid-September, River Cities Speedway revs up with the sights and sounds of NOSA Outlaw Sprints, WISSOTA Late Models, Midwest Modifieds and Street Stocks.  Every Friday, beginning with Hot Laps at 6 PM and a 7 PM Start Time, skilled regional drivers will battle for the checkered flag on one of the best 1/3-mile Bullring dirt and clay tracks in the nation.   While there, be sure to pick up a drink and some tasty eats (taco-in-a-bag and hot dogs are two favorites) from the concessions area or stop by the beer garden for an adult beverage.  A free treat also awaits the kids at the nightly candy toss.  Afterward, head over to the pits for an autographed picture of your favorite driver or stop by their souvenir shop and pick up a t-shirt.  If y’all are ready for an evening of nonstop thrills, it’s time to make tracks to the track!   Upcoming Special …

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Six SimplyGrand Gifts for Mom

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Vector illustration, Happy Mother's day card design with realistic flower and hand written lettering.

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 …

Posted in: Arts & Culture, Dining, Entertainment, Events, Shopping, shows and concerts, Sports & Recreation, Travel & Tourism, Uncategorized
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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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Hamming & (s)hopping it up in Forks

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Looking to get your Easter brunch on in Greater Grand Forks?  If you don’t feel like going through all the hassle of cooking it yourself, we have several restaurants serving up a feast.  Luckily, they’ve got a spot reserved just for you…and it’s not even at the kids’ table!   Aaltos: 1000 S 42nd St (Canad Inn), Grand Forks, 701-792-1957; 10 AM to 8 PM   Aroma Café: 1205 N 43rd St (Ramada), Grand Forks, 701-775-3951; 10:30 AM to 2 PM   Blue Moose Bar & Grill: 507 2nd Ave S, East Grand Forks, 218-773-6516; 10 AM to 2:30 PM   Boardwalk Bar & Grill: 415 2nd St NW, East Grand Forks, 218-399-3000; 10 AM to 2 PM   Crooked Pint: 1930 S Columbia Rd, Grand Forks, 701-780-9000; 10 AM to 2 PM   Ground Round: 2800 32nd Ave S, Grand Forks, 701-775-4646; 9 AM to 2 PM   Hilton Garden Inn: 4301 James Ray Dr, Grand Forks, 701-775-6000; 11 AM to 2 PM   Ruby Tuesday: 3915 32nd Ave S, Grand Forks, 701-772-1105; 9 AM to 2 PM   Just in case Mr. Bunny didn’t put everything in your basket that you wanted, the following stores have notified us they …

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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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SimplyGrand times for grown-ups

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If you’re looking for some fun after the sun goes down, our two towns are one hot ticket!  With everything from live music and karaoke to bar bingo and trivia takeovers, we’ve got plenty of ways to entertain you.   Listed below is just a sampling of all the different places to play around after 5 PM and beyond:   Bar Bingo/Bargo – Up North Pizza Pub (Tuesday at 7 PM); Ground Round (Thursday at 8 PM) Karaoke – Brick & Barley (Tuesday at 10:30 PM); Rhombus Guys Pizza (Wednesday at 10 PM); O’Really’s Irish Pub (Wednesday & Friday at 10 PM); Diamond Lounge (every other Thursday at 7:30 PM); El Roco Bar & Grill (Thursday at 9 PM) Live Music – The Ember (Thursday Bluegrass Jam); Diamond Lounge (Weekends at 9 PM); Half Brothers Brewing Company (every night, times vary); Long Haul Saloon (Weekends at 9 PM); Shotgun Sally’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Saloon (Weekends at 9 PM); Southgate Bar & Grill (Weekends at 9 PM) Pool & Foosball – El Roco Bar & Grill; The Loft; TJ’s Sports Bar, Up North Pizza Pub Trivia – Bonzer’s (Monday at 8 PM); The Diamond (Tuesday at 7 PM); Rhombus Guys Pizza …

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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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Rockin’ the Ralph & Betty too

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Everyone knows about all the exciting happenings that take place at the awesome Ralph Engelstad Arena (REA).  However, the Betty Engelstad Sioux Center (BESC) right next door has got it goin’ on, as well!   Since its completion, the Betty has welcomed many great events and is best known as the host facility for the NCAA Division I Big Sky Conference University of North Dakota Women’s Basketball, Volleyball and Men’s Basketball teams.  Prior to their Division I transition, it was even voted the best Division II women’s basketball facility in the nation.   Of course, the Ralph is home to eight-time Division I National Champion University of North Dakota Men’s Hockey.  Some of the other things held there include concerts by a variety of award-winning musicians and nationally popular stand-up comedians, Disney productions and an array of professional sporting events.   Both facilities feature beautiful granite floor lobbies, large concessions and lounge areas and hall of fame sections for their respective sports.  For a nominal fee, you may join one of the guided tours taking place every Monday through Friday, at 1:30 PM, beginning and ending in the Ralph’s Sioux Shop.  This 90-minute trek tours guests through the entire $100+ …

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