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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 …

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Something for everyone…kids, adults and fans of the 70s

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Today’s blog is brought to you from local writer and buisness person, Michaela Schell.   Usually Mondays can be pretty boring and likely the least favorite of the week, but on Monday, October 21, Grand Forks has something to do for everyone.   For the kids…   Disney Junior Live on Tour! Pirate and Princess Adventure. It all starts with Mickey and Minnie Mouse. They will lead your kids on an adventure through their favorite Disney shows with their favorite Disney characters: Doc McStuffins, Jake the Pirate, Princess Sofia and even Peter Pan and Tinkerbell.   When I think about how much kis love these characters on TV, I can only imagine the excitement that will fill the Ralaph when these fun friends come to life. There will probably be more energy in the arena than when it is full of UND Hockey fans!   Details: Monday, October 21 at 6:30 p.m. Ralph Engelstad Arena Ticket prices: $20/$30/$50 To order call or log on to Ticketmaseter   For the adults…   MYTHOLOGY, a new show by Celtic Thunder. This world-renowned group performs folk, traditional Irish, adult contemporary, rock and classical crossovers. It’s a modern twist on the old Celtic storytelling …

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Trendy, new music venue opens Downtown

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Today’s blog is written by Michaela Schell, a local writer and business professional.   A new music venue has come to Downtown Grand Forks! You probably haven’t seen any big outdoor sign marking its location, actually you can’t even see the venue from the street. That’s because it is tucked away in one of Downtown’s already prominent landmarks… The Empire Arts Center. What used to be a staging area behind the theater has be recreated into a trendy little social area the Empire is calling “The Backstage Project.”  The Empire’s website describes it as a place “designed to utilize creative, urban spaces for live music performances by local and regional artists.” I call it “pretty cool.” Grand Forks is lucky to have the large scale concert venues such as the Alerus Center and Ralph Engelstad Arena and mid-size venues like the Empire’s and the Chester Fritz Auditorium’s stages for fairly large performances, but we have always been missing that small, intimate space where local artists can perform to an up-close and personal crowd. Until now. The Backstage Project kicked off its first show of the series on April 5th with music from local jazz band favorite, Jazz On Tap. Jazz …

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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 …

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Royally rocking the Ralph

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“For someone who has played countless concerts and churned out numerous albums, Sir Elton never lets his skill, energy and gratitude for the crowd fade throughout his nearly three-hour-long show,” this according to one reporter who recently saw John perform live.  Even though the iconic entertainer has played various arenas all over the world, his stage show is said to be tailored specifically to each venue.  And fortunately for Greater Grand Forks, Elton John & His Band will be appearing live at Ralph Engelstad Arena (REA), March 24, at 8 p.m. John’s talented musicians include Davey Johnstone on guitar, Bob Birch on bass, John Mahon on percussion, Nigel Olsson on drums and Kim Bullard on keyboards.  One of the most successful live bands on the road today, Elton & His Band put on the kind of concert you will never forget.  The entire audience will be standing, dancing and singing along with much-loved classic songs like “Rocket Man”, “Bennie & the Jets”, “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart”, “Your Song”, “Philadelphia Freedom”, “Someone Saved My Life Tonight”, “Crocodile Rock”, “Tiny Dancer”, “Levon” and “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me”. “Elton John is an entertainment legend,” said REA General Manager …

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Simply grand events in Greater Grand Forks

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There are some great events coming up this week in Greater Grand Forks no matter what your interests are.  Why not check out these events or log on to our calendar for more events.  Please also share with us the type of events you would like to see in our simply grand communities!

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Putting the excitment on ice

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Have you experienced the excitement of live NCAA Division I hockey yet this season? If not, there are plenty of chances to see all the action up close. Under the expert direction of head coach Brian Idalski, watch the University of North Dakota Women’s Hockey team this season as they skate, pass and shoot their way to victory.  With several top players returning, including former Olympians Monique and Jocelyn Lamoureax, UND is sure to see playoff action again this season. The University of North Dakota Men’s Hockey team, with veteran coach Dave Hakstol at the helm, is looking to repeat as WCHA champions.  The whole crowd will jump to their feet after every goal and with future NHL stars like Danny Kristo, Corban Knight and Derek Forbot on the ice, you’ll be cheering nonstop. Home ice advantage also means fans get to enjoy all the luxuries of the magnificent Ralph Engelstad Arena, including its granite floor concourses, plush leather seats, amazing sound system and state-of-the-art jumbo screens that highlight every second of the action.  If a variety of delicious food and beverages is what you’re looking for, pay a visit to one of the many concession areas located throughout. If …

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What do we do now?

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It has been a busy summer in the Grand Cities; school has started and the UND students have all moved back, and we are on the heels of a fabulous Grand Forks weekend with the first-ever Rollin’ on the River Inline Marathon (the Convention & Visitors Bureau was the presenting sponsor by the way) and a record breaking attendance for the last of the 2011 three-part music series, Blues on the Red.  It may have some asking what do we do now?  The answer is PLENTY!  I am going to just give you a brief taste of some of the great events coming up (details and more events can be found on our Calendar of Events) in September: -UND Football season opener vs. Drake September 1 at the Alerus Center (don’t miss tailgating, as the presenting sponsor, the Convention & Visitors Bureau is giving away a great prize package) -Friday Night Races at the River Cities Speedway through September 16 -Outdoor Farmer’s Market in Town Square through September 24 -Choice Financial 10K Fun Run/Walk Setember 10 -Tour de Forks Bike Ride & Walk in Lincoln Drive Park on September 11 -AudioBody at the Chester Fritz on September 11 -Art & …

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Hair today, tickets tomorrow

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Have you heard the breaking concert news yet?  Popular 80s “hair” bands Skid Row and Warrant are coming to the Betty Engelstad Sioux Center on August 12! If you would like to go – without having to buy tickets – we have a proposition for you.  Just submit a photo of your best 80s BIG harido and you could receive two free tickets to one of this summers hottest selling shows.  If you want to throw on some parachute pants and a pair of Wayfarer sunglasses, that could only hlep your chances of winning!  To enter, simply e-mail your photo to Shelley at the Greater Grand Forks Convention & Visitors Bureau (shelley@visitgrandforks.com) or post it to our Facebook page for everyone to see!  The deadline is Monday, August 5, 2011.

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