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Tater time fun for tots and grown-ups

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FrenchFryFeed

This year marks the 53rd Anniversary of a SimplyGrand tradition known as Potato Bowl USA.  The week of September 18-22 will be filled with entertaining events centering on our region’s most popular staple crop.  Expect tons of tasty food including a potato pancake breakfast, baked potato bars and of course, the World’s Largest French Fry Feed & Fireworks display.   Friday offers up a great time for the little ones at the Get Wet & Run Wild! Kids Fun Run and some adult cheer that night during a “Rockin’ the Forks” party, in Town Square, featuring live music, food and beverages. The festivities culminate on Saturday with a parade, tailgate party and University of North Dakota football game.   Make sure to bring the whole family out to one of North Dakota’s best and tastiest celebrations…when the chips are down, count on Potato Bowl USA to offer up the most spudtacular time around!   POTATO BOWL USA WEEK HIGHLIGHTS Tuesday, September 18 Potato Bowl PLINKO Contest begins – Register at any local Hugo’s Family Marketplace Wednesday, September 19 Potato Bowl Golf Scramble – 11 AM at Valley Golf Course Thursday, September 20 Baked Potato Bar – 11 AM to 1:30 …

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SimplyGrand Buys Under Fair Skies

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If you’re a fan of one-of-a-kind finds, tasty eats and live tunes, make sure to clear some time on your calendar for this Friday and Saturday, September 7 and 8!  Why? Because that’s when the Downtown Development Association will host the 2018 Downtown Street Fair. From DeMers to Third, our Downtown District streets will be filled with great shopping, entertainment, food and fun galore.   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; Dan Rocks ‘n Rolls; Gaga’s Gourmet; Happy Magnets; Hello Lucy 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, poke bowls, pulled pork sandwiches, fresh-cut fries, crepes and kettle korn.   And the good times don’t end when the merchandise vendors shut down. Town Square will be rockin’ on Friday night with The Don Barstads and Stovepipes. Then on Saturday, two more talented bands take the stage – BoomTown and Rhyme or Reason.  Food truck fare and beverages will be …

Posted in: Arts & Culture, Dining, Entertainment, Events, shows and concerts, Travel & Tourism, Uncategorized
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A SimplyGrand du Soleil Production Is Coming Our Way

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CirqueCrystal

The legendary Cirque du Soleil will soon be bringing its new, original arena creation to Ralph Engelstad Arena! Cirque du Soleil’s CRYSTAL explores the artistic limits of ice for the first time in the company’s 34-year history. This unique production pushes boundaries of performance by combining stunning skating and acrobatic feats that defy the imagination. CRYSTAL will perform in Grand Forks from Wednesday, September 26 through Sunday, September 30, for seven shows.   This simply grand show features an international cast of world-class skaters and gymnasts performing acrobatics both on the ice and in the air, flawlessly combining multiple disciplines for one amazing audience experience. Synchronized skating, freestyles figures and extreme skating are featured alongside circus disciplines such as swinging trapeze and aerial traps and hand to hand. The result is an adrenaline-packed show for the whole family that pushes the boundaries and surpasses all expectations!   Follow Crystal, the lead character, on an exhilarating tale of self-discovery as she dives into a world of her own imagination. Feel the passion as she soars through this surreal world at high speed to become what she was always destined to be: confident, liberated and empowered. CRYSTAL invites you to suspend reality …

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Touchdowns, Tailgating and SimplyGraND Times

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With just a week remaining until the University of North Dakota football team officially opens its season, head coach Bubba Schweigert is hoping y’all will be his 12th player. The whole crowd is sure to be up cheering after every touchdown and with some of the best athletes in the country on the field, don’t expect to spend very much time in your seat!  Along with talented junior transfer quarterback Nate Ketteringham plus top senior running backs John Santiago and Brady Oliveira, they hope to lead the Fighting Hawks to another winning season.  Undefeated in 2016 conference play, UND hopes to capture the chemistry from that season and their first NCAA Division I-AA Championship!   You’ll also be able to enjoy all the Alerus Center’s indoor comforts and jumbotron screens that highlight every play, providing an up-close view of the action.  A few of their newer enhancements include an updated sound system, top-of-the-line LED sports lighting and free public access Wi-Fi.  Feeling hungry?  Make sure to check out the large concession area with a variety of delicious food and beverages, including a featured Panini of the Game, The Grand Hot Dog and Coach Bubba Burger: quarter pound beef patty with …

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Plan for a Simply Grand time

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Conveniently located at the junction of Interstate 29/Exit 141 and Highway 2 (4251 Gateway Drive), the Visitor Center is a friendly stopping point for information on Greater Grand Forks events, attractions, shopping, dining and accommodations.  We also have brochures on North Dakota, Minnesota and Winnipeg, along with maps for most states.   Professional travel consultants will be available to answer your questions from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday thru Friday and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday.  Even when we’re closed, there is an after-hours information box right outside the front door which is always stocked with Grand Forks Visitors Guides, Simply Grand $avings Coupon Books and North Dakota state maps.   The Visitor Center also houses our Simply Grand Gift Shop, featuring a wide variety of local and regional products.  You’ll find items ranging from RBJ’s Strawberry Rhubarb Jam, North Prairie Signature Bison Sticks and Dot’s Homestyle Pretzels to Grand Forks wine glasses, mugs and t-shirts.  We’re excited to announce that our visitor center manager and in-house designers are currently working feverishly on some cool new souvenir additions soon to be hitting the shelves!   Our updated Visitor Center offers free Wi-Fi for guests; plus, use of …

Posted in: Arts & Culture, Dining, Entertainment, Events, Lodging, Shopping, shows and concerts, Sports & Recreation, Travel & Tourism, Uncategorized
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Showing off at the Fritz

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Move over Big Apple, Grand Forks is stealing some of the spotlight when it comes to bringing in top-notch shows!  Since 1972, the Chester Fritz Auditorium stage has hosted numerous legendary performances in a variety of genres. With events ranging from Broadway musicals to Moscow’s ballet, their current schedule promises not to disappoint.   At just over 2,300 seats, Chester Fritz is the perfect size to host musical theater and intimate concerts.  The superb 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 the Oak Ridge Boys, Foreigner, John Mellencamp, Bette Midler and Jerry Seinfeld. 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 …

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Parking it at Turtle River

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Greek philosopher Aristotle once said: “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.”  We at the Greater Grand Forks Convention & Visitors Bureau (aka Visit Grand Forks) couldn’t agree more!  While our two towns offer up lots of simply grand outdoor spots for both adults and kids to enjoy…less than a half hour drive away, you’ll find one more great place to play!   Situated on in a scenic wooded valley, Turtle River State Park (TRSP) is located just 22 miles west of Grand Forks on Highway 2. TRSP was constructed in the 1930s by the Civilian Conservation Corps and offers year-round recreational activities such as camping, picnicking, fishing, hiking and biking. Rustic group cabins can also be rented.   If fishing is your thing, the Turtle River is stocked with rainbow trout.  No pole?  No worries!  You can borrow all the needed gear at the park office.   To truly experience TRSP, I suggest lacing up the hiking boots.  Another way to capture all the beauty is to pedal your way through. The park also offers up cross-country skiing and snowshoeing trails for some cool winter recreational opportunities.   Pack your own lunch or swing by a …

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Summertime fun under SimplyGrand skies

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Greenway

Warm temps plus sunny skies can only equal one thing: summer has officially arrived in our two Forks! While there are certainly many more, below are my top five SimplyGrand seasonal to-dos.   LISTENING SESSIONS. If you’re a fellow music lover, definitely add the Happy Harry’s Blues on the Red three-part summer music series to your calendar.  The final two concerts take place July 28 and August 15 in Town Square.  From 5 to 10 PM, listen to some of our region’s top blues musicians while enjoying tasty eats and drinks served up by local establishments.  Admission is just $5 but the food and brews are extra.   EXPLORING GREENS ON THE RED. Strolling or rolling on our beautifully groomed Greenway Trail System is a perfect way to enjoy a sunny day. Hop on a bike, strap on the inline skates or simply use your tennis shoes to propel yourself around.  Like to try navigating our north-flowing Red River?  Stop by Boathouse on the Red (weekends only from 10 AM to 8 PM) and rent a canoe, kayak or stand-up paddleboard. My favorite Greenway spot is near downtown because it’s easy to refuel with a yummy homemade cupcake or muffin …

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Summer brings SimplyGraNDMOA concerts

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Nothing beats listening to great live music, on a beautiful summer evening, under our simply grand skies.  If you agree, we’ve got some awesome news from you…the popular North Dakota Museum of Art (NDMOA) Concerts in the Garden series is back again this summer!   Be sure to bring a lawn chair or blanket plus several of your friends.  All the fun takes place in the NDMOA sculpture garden, on the University of North Dakota campus, located at 261 Centennial Drive. Tickets are $12 at the door and free for those 12 and younger. There will also be food and beverages available for purchase, including local grass-fed hamburgers, vegetable skewers, nightly specials, root beer floats, beer and wine.   Performance dates, along with scheduled artists, are as follows:   Tuesday, July 10, 6 PM ~ THE BREVET (Irvine, CA): The Brevet, comprised of Aric Chase Damm (lead vocals, guitar), Michael Jones (backing vocals, piano), David Aguiar (backing vocals, drums) and Ben Ross (bass, backing vocals), is a young American band from sunny Southern California. The band released their debut album “Battle of the Heart” in April 2013 and have been met with great success ever since.   Tuesday, July 17, …

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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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