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We are happy in Grand Forks!

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Today’s blog comes from Greater Grand Forks Convention & Visitors Bureau executive director, Julie Rygg.   Gallup recently unveiled their annual ranking of well-being in the United States, and guess who ranked first? It was North Dakota (Minnesota was close at fourth)! That tells us, for the most part, North Dakotans are the happiest people in the U.S. I tend to agree with this report. We are quite happy here and there are many big reasons, but there are also lots of small things that we find great joy in!   Now I now it has been a long winter all over the county, and I like to look for some of those fun little things to brighten my day and add enjoyment. I am sharing my current five faves with you. Enjoy!   1. The martinis at the Toasted Frog are amazing. If you haven’t had one yet, I highly recommend them. My favorite is the Pink Lemonade. It is the perfect combination of sweet and sour and reminds me of a warm summer day.   2. There is nothing better than a hot mocha on a cold winter morning. My ultimate favorite place for a hot coffee is …

Posted in: Sports & Recreation, Travel & Tourism, Uncategorized
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Upcoming showcases offer great holiday gift ideas

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Today’s post comes from Michaela Schell, local blogger and business woman.   The holidays are just around the corner, and November brings so many local showcases that offer a wide array of holiday gift ideas. Here are some of the showcases going on in upcoming weeks for you to find that one-of-a-kind gift for the people on your list.   Pride of Dakota Holiday Showcase On November 9 and 10, the Alerus Center will be packed with products all made in North Dakota. More than 500 member companies, ranging in size from large companies with more than 100 employees to “mom-and-pop” operations, participate in the statewide Pride of Dakota program. Many of these companies will be at the showcase in Grand Forks with their products and services for you to check out and purchase. In 2012, more than 34,000 shoppers came out and supported North Dakota companies in these showcases held in Grand Forks, Fargo, Minot and Bismarck. Come support these local companies and get some gifts that can only be found in North Dakota!   Event Details: Saturday, November 9, 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday, November 10, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Alerus Center $2/person at the door Holiday Bazaar In tandem …

Posted in: Events, Travel & Tourism
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How can a visitor center assist me?

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Today’s blog is brought to you by Convention & Visitors Bureau Executive Director, Julie Rygg. Please e-mail your travel questions to Julie at julie@visitgrandforks.com.   In a time of so many technological advances, one might think that visitor centers where you can receive actual help from another person may be a way of the past, but actually visitor centers can now provide even more services to people traveling to new destinations.   Take the Greater Grand Forks Convention & Visitors Bureau’s Visitor Center, located at Interstate 29 Exit 141, for example. While our team of travel counselors continues to provide exceptional customer service, we also offer ipad stations, free WiFi, a computer/printer work station, table top plug-ins for charging devices while traveling and more. Our visitor center welcomes about 20,000 people per year from all over the U.S. and Canada as well as other countries from across the globe.   We strive to continue to add services to assist weary travelers whether they are staying in Greater Grand Forks or just making a quick rest stop. Services provided in the Greater Grand Forks Visitor Center include:   Free maps to almost every state and Canadian province Visitor information for Greater …

Posted in: Travel & Tourism
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The Ralph brings ball hockey to Grand Forks

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Kyle Kosier from The Hockey Academy at Ralph Engelstad Arena tells us about Grand Forks’ first ever ball hockey tournament…   The Hockey Academy, in conjunction with the Ralph Engelstad Arena is hosting Grand Forks’ first-ever summer ball hockey tournament, the REA Ball Hockey Classic. The tournament, which will run from May 31st to June 2nd, will feature teams from North Dakota, Minnesota, Manitoba and Saskatchewan.   Much like its on-ice counterpart, the rules of ball hockey should be pretty familiar to the local community. Playing a 3-on-3 co-ed format (with a goalie), games will be held on both the REA Main arena and Olympic surfaces and will feature two 15-minute halves.  Teams can have between 5 and 8 players and registration is $225.00/team.   Extremely popular in Winnipeg and other Canadian cities, ball hockey can be fun for everyone from seasoned hockey players to novices. No hockey playing experience is required, and the tournament will feature both open and elite divisions so that you can play against people of the same skill level. Each ice surface at the REA will be converted to hold 3 ball hockey floors, with games running “cross-ice”. The rules allow for a wide-open playing …

Posted in: Entertainment, Events, Sports & Recreation, Travel & Tourism
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Appreciating our visitors during National Tourism Week

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Grand Forks is set to kick off National Travel & Tourism Week by celebrating the importance of natural, cultural and historic wonders and how they draw visitors to cities and towns across the nation.  During May 5-13, tourism related industries will join together to highlight the valuable role tourism plays in contributing to vibrant communities as great places to visit and live.   In an effort to show our appreciation to visitors and local residents and emphasize the importance of the tourism industry, the Greater Grand Forks Convention & Visitors Bureau is giving away a prize each day during the week.  These prizes will help us illustrate the many wonderful offerings available in our Grand Cities.  All you need to do to register for the simply grand giveaways (listed below), is click on this link and complete the short form.   May 5 – One 2lb. box of Chipper’s from Grand Forks’ own Widman’s Candy Store May 6 – Greater Grand Forks gift basket May 7 – Two World of Outlaw passes sponsored by River Cities Speedway May 8 – Two North Dakota Museum of Art Summer Concerts in the Garden season passes (sponsored by ND Museum of Art) May …

Posted in: Entertainment, Events, shows and concerts, Sports & Recreation, Travel & Tourism
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Rolling out the red (white and blue) carpet

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As you may have heard, former President Bill Clinton is returning to Grand Forks on Saturday, March 17, to present the keynote address during the 2012 North Dakota Democratic Convention.  President Clinton also has additional plans during his short stay in Grand Forks, which include a city tour. The Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB) is requesting your assistance in welcoming him back to Grand Forks and thanking him for his presidential support during the flood of 1997.  We want to show President Clinton Greater Grand Forks is stronger and better than ever. The CVB is printing and producing banners, posters and rally signs.  If you or your business would like a supply, please call (701.746.0444) or e-mail the CVB.

Posted in: Events, Travel & Tourism
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Welcome ND State Class B Boys’ Basketball Players, Coaches & Fans!

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The communities of Greater Grand Forks are pleased to welcome the players, coaches and fans of the 2012 ND State Class B Boys’ Basketball Tournament! Good luck to all the teams! Have a great tournament! Beulah             Central Cass             Divide County               Grafton               Lewis & Clark – Berthold               Linton-HMB             Northstar             Shiloh-Christian

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Grand Forks to host ND High School State Class B Boys’ Basketball Tournament

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Grand Forks is preparing to host the North Dakota State Class B Boys’ Basketball Tournament for the first time, March 1-3.  The Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB) is asking for your help welcoming the athletes, coaches and fans to our simply grand community! As a proud sponsor of this event, the CVB is in the process of mailing welcome pins to all local restaurants and hotels.  Please have your employees wear these pins. In addition to the pins, the CVB printed and delivered welcome posters to 150 local businesses and will distribute welcome banners to all hotels next week. You may have also noticed the digital billboards on Washington/DeMers and at the Alerus Center have welcome messages displayed. How can you help? 1. Have your employees wear the welcome pins. 2. Hang welcome posters and/or banners in your business. 3. Display a welcome on your outdoor marquee. If you would like to request a supply of pins and posters or banners, e-mail Nicole at services@visitgrandforks.com.

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Give a taste of the North

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For those of you looking for some unique holiday gift-giving ideas, the Convention & Visitors Bureau Visitor Center houses a gift shop with a wide variety of local and regional products.  You will find such souvenir items as magnets, pins, key chains, Christmas ornaments, mugs, sweatshirts, t-shirts and caps.  We also feature North Dakota and Minnesota made food products including: North Prairie Signature bison sausage; Simple Garden Harvest soup mix; O’Connor’s mustard; RBJ’s jam; Dakota Maid pancake mix; Mable’s Taste of Home syrup; Prairie Roasters coffee and much more. We are conveniently located at the junction of Interstate 29 (Exit 141) and Highway 2 (4251 Gateway Drive).  Our hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday.  You are invited to experience first-hand all the helpful services we offer, while getting your shopping done at the same time!

Posted in: Travel & Tourism
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