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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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What’s up is Downtown

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Interested in doing some shopping but still want to enjoy the beautiful summer weather?  Then you really need to check out the region’s top Outdoor Farmers Market!  It kicks off June 16 and takes place every Saturday through September, from 9 AM to 1:30 PM, in Town Square (corner of DeMers Avenue and 3rd Street).  Vendors sell everything from fresh produce and flowers to home baked bread and pies to handmade jewelry and pottery.  You’ll also be able to enjoy an array of tasty food truck fare and great live entertainment on the Square’s main stage.  If you’d like to learn more about how our fabulous Forks were founded, guided Historical Walking Tours are held at 1 PM during every Farmers Market.   While in the area, make sure to explore both of our beautiful downtowns (Grand Forks, North Dakota and East Grand Forks, Minnesota) and discover all they have to offer.  Below are some suggestions for a day or two of fun.   Downtown Adventures             Take a stroll through streets that lead to places where past and present meet.  Historic buildings house 21st century businesses.  Attractive public art captures the spirit of our …

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pARTy up down by the Red

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Get ready…this weekend the Greenway, Town Square and Cabela’s parking lot will be lined with great shopping, entertainment, food and plenty of fun during Art on the Red 2018!  Formerly known as Grand Cities Art Fest, the Public Arts Commission (PAC) Art on the Red will feature over 150 quality artists and crafters from around the nation selling their wares.  Examples of the different media include ceramics, drawing, glass, jewelry, metal, naturals and painting.  Dozens of food vendors will be on hand to tantalize your taste buds with everything from caramel apples, funnel cakes and kettle korn to Indian fry bread tacos, Southern barbecue and Somali samosas.  And don’t forget to check out NoVAC’s Arts in Action, Fine Arts Avenue, Kids’ Corner and the Main Stage.   NoVAC’s Arts in Action: Are you curious about how artists turn raw materials into amazing works of art?  At Arts in Action, sculptors will perform live demonstrations of their art-making process in the Town Square.   Fine Arts Avenue: What happens when you take simple, inexpensive materials and add inspiration and talent?  You get Fine Arts Avenue where more than 25 of the region’s finest artists will be offering items worthy of any art …

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Make a SimplyGrand grape escape

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See ya later Sonoma.  Maybe next time Napa Valley.  No need to travel across the country when you can pick great grapes and taste grand wines right here in Greater Grand Forks…at the popular Grape Mill Vineyard and Winery!   Overlooking the banks of our beautiful Red Lake River, Grape Mill’s cold hardy vines produce red, white and blush varieties with a unique, palate-pleasing flavor specific to this region. The Halversons – Russ, Gail and Matt – planted their first 200 grape vines back in 2006.  Today, the vineyard has well over 2,000 vines including the varieties Marquette, La Crescent, Frontenac Gris, Frontenac Blanc and Brianna.  Bottles of Grape Mill wine were even featured in Super Bowl LII celebrity gift baskets.   Situated on the estate, take a stroll through the vineyard and discover just what makes their vines so special.  You’ll also learn how each variety is grown, cultivated and turned into delicious wine.   After taking the tour, be sure to stop in Grape Mill’s tasting room and try some of your favorites or grab a bottle to take home for later.  On most Saturdays, you’ll also be serenaded by talented local musicians while you sip and savor.   …

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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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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 …

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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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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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