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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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Show up Downtown

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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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Art up in Greater Grand Forks

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When it comes to great works of art, our SimplyGrand cities are the place to go…or should I say, Van Gogh?! Yes, even one of the most heralded artists in history, Vincent Van Gogh, had his paintings displayed in our community. In fact, the University of North Dakota collections (featured at both the North Dakota Museum of Art and Empire Arts Center Gallery) include works by Salvador Dali, Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein and countless other legends!   Probably the highest concentration of great works, with regard to both galleries and public art, occur in our Downtown District. Gallery wise, just some of the ones to check out are: The Guild (311 DeMers Ave); Third Street Gallery (310 Kittson Ave); Browning Arts (23 4th St S); World’s Smallest Gallery (324 Kittson Ave); YOU ARE HERE (25 S 4th St) and the River Walk Artists Gallery (211 DeMers Ave). Amazingly unique public displays can be found throughout downtown Grand Forks like the two colorful BIG Heads (3rd St & DeMers Ave and 4th St & Kittson Ave), Wally the Worm bike rack (4th St & 1st Ave N) and the newest one, entitled “Grand Escape”. Located on the corner of DeMers Avenue …

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What’s up this weekend (8.28.15)?

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If you are visiting Grand Forks this weekend or already live here and are looking for something to do, look no further. Each week the Convention & Visitors Bureau will highlight the upcoming weekend’s special events.   The weekend of August 28 promises to be a big one! With all the UND students back and some great activities, the town is sure to be bustling with lots of excitement. There is still time to buy tickets, register or just plan to attend these events.   Friday, August 28   Def Leppard at the Alerus Center – Styx and Tesla are joining these classic rockers with a show that promises of night a great music. Tickets are still available through Ticketmaster at various price points. The Alerus Center will start rockin’ at 7 p.m.   Friday Night Races at River Cities Speedway – Every Friday beginning in April and running through mid-September River Cities Speedway, recently named No. 1 in the country for sprint car racing by PennLive.com, is alive with premier racing. Outlaw Sprints, Late Models, Midwest Modifieds and Street Stocks all vye for the checkered flag. Hot laps start at 6 p.m. with the races kicking off at 7 …

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Halloween fun in Greater Grand Forks

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Today’s blog is brought to you from local blogger and business person Michaela Schell.   The Halloween fun in Greater Grand Forks doesn’t just happen on October 31st. Events are happening all week long before the actual holiday begins. Whether you want to be tricked or treated, there is something for everyone!   The Rocky Horror Picture Show… …returns to the Empire Arts Center for its 11th year. The show isn’t just a screening of the cult classic movie, it incorporates live characters and even the audience. Costumes are encouraged and audience participation is a must.   October 25, 26 and 31 at 12 midnight Tickets: $10 at the door and through Ticketmaster More information can be found online This show is for adults 18 and over only   Neighborhood 3: Requisition of Doom… …performed by the Empire Theatre Company (ETC) is sent in a suburban subdivision with identical houses where parents find their teenagers addicted to an online horror video game. The game setting? A subdivision with identical houses. The goal? Smash through an army of zombies to escape the neighborhood for good. But as the line blurs between virtual and reality, both parents and players realize that fear …

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It is an Art & Wine Walk Week!

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There are only two Art & Wine Walks (hosted by Greater Grand Forks Convention & Visitors Bureau and North Valley Arts Council) left in 2011, and one of them is tomorrow, Saturday, September 17! Everything kicks off at 1 p.m. at either the Blue Moose Bar & Grill in East Ground Forks or the GuestHouse Inn in Grand Forks. You can purchase a map for $15 (must be 21), which will include wine samples at all participating locations as well as a commemorative wine glass. At 5 p.m. the event wraps up with a champagne reception at the Empire Arts Center. There will be food, champagne and lots of great prizes (must be present to win)! Art & Wine Walk is a great way to get together with friends (and meet new ones) as well as view unique artworks from regional artists, shop at Greater Grand Forks businesses and experience a variety of wines. There are a number of businesses participating on both sides of the river including Bonzer’s, River Cities Jewelers, Dakota Harvest Bakers, Badman Design, Third Street Gallery, Mike’s Pizza, Amazing Grains, Lillian’s, Mamma Maria’s, O’Really’s and Level 10. There is also an array of artists ready to …

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Last chance to see RENT this week

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I know I have already blogged about Crimson Creek’s production of RENT, but I hadn’t seen it yet, so it was more informational about the muscial itself.  I have seen it in a number of other locations, so I am quite familiar with RENT, and I am thrilled to report I had the pleasure of seeing Crimson’s portrayal of the popular musical. I was so impressed with the phenomenal talent found in the Grand Forks region.  The vast majority of RENT involves singing with a great deal of movement, there are not many spoken words, and to hear those voices was truly amazing.  The entire cast was great, but, of course, I did have a few favorites such as Roger played by Steven Douglas.  I thought this Roger could compete with any that I have seen in London, NYC, Baltimore or Minneapolis. Matt Hippen played Angel Dummott Schunard and did a fabulous job.  I can’t imagine Angel is an easy character to master, but Matt did it wonderfully! Finally I loved Candice Morgan as Maureen.  Talk about a “drama queen”!  She was hilarious, and her voice was unbelievable. While the Fire Hall Theatre is normally the home of Crimson Creek, …

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No day but today

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The Convention & Visitors Bureau office is buzzing about the opening of Crimson Creek’s production of “RENT” tomorrow (Tuesday, August 2) at the Empire Arts Center.  I have seen this modern-day musical in London, New York and Mineapolis, and I know Crimson will not dissapoint.  If you have been to any of their other productions such as “Hair”, “The Producers”, “The Great American Trailer Park Musical” and “Psycho Beach Party”, you know what I am talking about. Set in the Ast Village of New York City, “RENT” is about falling in love, finding your voice and living for today.  Winner of the Tony Award for Best Musical and Pulitzer Prize for Drama, “RENT” has become a pop culture phenomenon with songs that rock and a story that resonates with audiences of all ages.  Based loosely on Puccini’s La Boheme, “RENT” follows a year in the life of a group of friends struggling to make it in the big city. Crimson performers have performed “flash mobs” at various Grand Forks locations to give us a taste of what is to come.  Click here for a sample. “RENT” is onstage August 2-6 and 9-13 at 7:30 p.m.  Presale tickets ($20/adults and $18/students …

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