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Find SimplyGraND buys under Fair skies

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Put pen to planner (or stylus to mobile device) right now and mark off September 8 & 9. Why? Because that’s when the Downtown Development Association will host the 2017 Downtown Street Fair. From DeMers to Third, our Downtown District streets will be filled with great shopping, entertainment, food and fun galore. With Greater Grand Forks Convention & Visitors Bureau as presenting sponsor, the Street Fair is free and open to the public!   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; Happy Magnets; Grain Designs; Hippy Feet; Hello Lucy; Raki Lifestyle 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, steak on a stick, pulled turkey sandwiches, fresh-cut fries, mini donuts and kettle korn.   And the good times don’t end when the merchandise vendors shut down. Friday night is highlighted by the “JLG Rocks the Streets” concert, in Town Square, featuring two awesome acts: The Fabulous Armadillos and Wicked Bees. Food truck fare and beverages …

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Super Saturday in the City

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Travel writer Shel Zolkewich puts together an action-packed itinerary to make the most of your summer Saturday in Grand Forks.   Start your day with a little exercise! The indoor pool at the newly remodeled Ramada Inn is big, bright and beautiful. Plus the adjoining hot tub means the pool is always pleasantly warm—no need to shiver during your dip. This classic hotel boasts a restaurant and bar onsite along with all the amenities you need including a fitness center and pet-friendly rooms.   Make your first stop Bully Brew Coffee, a made-in-Grand Forks success story, now with four bustling locations, including one in Fargo. Treat yourself to the White Chocolate Mocha—espresso, sweet white chocolate powder and steamed milk—and you’ll soon see why it’s the shop’s bestseller.   To market! To market! It’s a feast of color and creativity at The Town Square Farmers’ Market every Saturday from 9am to 1:30 pm at the corner of 3rd Street and Demers Avenue. Handmade goods, local vegetables and fresh baking are piled high as shoppers stroll the riverside market. The hot ticket seems to be The Bakers Wagon, where there’s an unending line-up of folks, no doubt stocking up on fried pies, …

Posted in: Dining, Entertainment, Lodging, Shopping, Sports & Recreation, Travel & Tourism
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Reel in a SimplyGrand time

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The organizers of Cats Incredible Catfish Days are feelin’ dirty at thirty! This popular catfishing tournament – taking place on our dirt-bottomed, north-flowing Red River – is celebrating its 30th year! Held the last weekend of July, in downtown East Grand Forks’ LaFave Park, Cats Incredible brings in top anglers from all over North America. However, even those not competing will find a variety activities, entertainment and food they’re sure to enjoy!   Friday, July 28 Food Vendors & Beer Garden – 5 to 8 p.m.  Saturday, July 29 Fishing Tournament – Day 1 Boat Launch – 4:30 a.m. Fishing Begins – 7 a.m. Gates Open to the Public – 10 a.m. Food Vendors & Beer Garden – 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Family Entertainment – 12 to 6 p.m. Sunday, July 30 Fishing Tournament – Day 2 Boat Launch – 4:30 a.m. Fishing Begins – 7 a.m. Gates Open to the Public – 10 a.m. Food Vendors & Beer Garden – 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. 3rd Annual Cars & Catfish Car Show – 12 to 4 p.m. Family Entertainment – 12 to 6 p.m. Tournament Ends – 4 p.m. Cats Incredible Tournament Awards – 6 p.m. For further …

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Park it at Turtle River

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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 great cross-country skiing and snowshoeing trails for some cool winter recreational opportunities.   Pack your own lunch or swing by a favorite Greater Grand Forks eatery (The Red Pepper and Jimmy John’s are right off Hwy 2) on your way out of town and pick up some perfect picnic fare.  The park’s shelters are always well maintained and offer up a picturesque spot to dine.   You’ll also want to stop in their visitor center and check out the interesting Conservation Corp Interpretive Exhibits and Displays. …

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Hear great songs under grand skies

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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 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 Museum’s sculpture garden, on the University of North Dakota campus, located at 261 Centennial Drive. Tickets are $10 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.   Dates, along with scheduled artists, are as follows:   July 5, 2017, at 6 PM: Christopher Paul Stelling, New York, NY There is a fearless quality to the music of Christopher Paul Stelling.  He’s been described as having a voice that sounds both old and young, an effortless yet intricate finger-picking guitar style and lyrics that are both dramatic and intensely confessional. Stelling released his newest album, “Itinerant Arias”, in May and unlike previous records, it finds Stelling backed by a band.   …

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Take the Grand Tour

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Whether you’re a lifelong resident, new-to-town or just visiting, our new Downtown Walking Tours will teach you all about our Simply Grand Forks! Listed below is information for this summer’s schedule. Best of all, every excursion has a special theme that makes each one unique.   June 10, 10:30 AM to 12: 30 PM, Town Square – ART OF DOWNTOWN GRAND FORKS                                                                                                                   Special feature: Public art located throughout downtown Grand Forks, including art-related events and projects inspired by local and regional artists.   June 24, 4 to 6 PM, Town Square – BEER & SALOONS OF GRAND FORKS  Special feature: Grand Forks has had a rich history involving beer, saloons and alcohol. This tour will include stops at local establishments that may require guess to be 21 years of age or older.   July 29, 3:30 to 5:30 PM, Town Square – GRAND RIVER CITY OF THE NORTH                                                                                                                                      Special feature: Our Red River of the North is the largest northern flowing river in the northern hemisphere. Grand Forks was founded, named and earned national attention because of our river; so, this tour is dedicated to the unique relationship our community has with our nearest body of water.   August 19, 1 …

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Summer breezes bring #SimplyGrand times

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I know it doesn’t officially begin until June 21 but in Nortakota, any temp above 70 equals summer!  While there may be many, here are my top five seasonal outdoor to-dos:   GREAT BUYS UNDER GRAND SKIES.  Formerly known as Art Fest, Art on the Red 2017 will fill downtown Grand Forks and East Grand Forks with over 150 vendors selling everything from pottery and jewelry to kettle korn and fry bread tacos.  There’ll also be a beer garden and live music.  It all takes place June 10 & 11, 10 AM to 6 PM on Saturday and Sunday from 10 AM to 4 PM.   LISTENING SESSIONS.  If you’re a fellow music lover, definitely add the Happy Harry’s Blues on the Red Summer Music Series to your calendar.  It takes place the last Saturday of June, July and August in Town Square.  From 5 to 10 PM, hear some of our region’s top blues musicians while enjoying tasty eats and drinks served up by Brick & Barley.  Admission is free but the food and brews are extra.   NAVIGATING THE GREENWAY.  Strolling our beautifully groomed Greenway trail system is a perfect way to enjoy a sunny day. My favorite spot …

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Spend a SimplyGrand day in the Galleries

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Founded in the mid-1970s, the North Dakota Museum of Art began as the University of North Dakota Art Galleries, a temporary exhibition space primarily for the benefit of university students.  Then in 1981, the North Dakota State Legislature designated the University Galleries as our state’s official art museum. With its expanded mission came a new name: the North Dakota Museum of Art (NDMOA).   NDMOA currently collects contemporary, international art in all media.  It is charged with both gathering and displaying the visual history of the region.  The museum is also assembling a survey collection of contemporary Native American art, starting with the early 1970s when the movement emerged.   If you’re a fan of all things far out and fabulous, you definitely need to pay a visit to NDMOA, especially to check out the Barton Lidice Benes permanent exhibit.  Ranging from a mounted giraffe and warthog to tribal masks and antiques, this eclectic collection will leave you awestruck.  Acclaimed artist Barton Benes gifted the contents of his New York apartment to the museum, which includes over $1 million in African, Egyptian and contemporary art. Through tremendous fundraising efforts, NDMOA raised the money to dismantle his apartment in New York …

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pARTy up downtown

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Mark your calendars now for the second Saturday and Sunday in June…which just happens to be the 10th and 11th this year. Why? That’s when the Town Square, Greenway and Cabela’s parking lot will be lined with great shopping, entertainment, food and plenty of fun during Art on the Red 2017! Formerly known as Grand Cities Art Fest, the Public Arts Commission (PAC) Art on the Red will feature over 120 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 fry bread tacos, bison burgers and barbecue ribs. 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? …

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Break bread with friends in Grand Forks

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Team TEDxGrandForks is excited to announce the theme of 2017’s event on April 8: “Breaking Bread”. For the first time, it will be held at HB Sound & Light in Downtown Grand Forks. Welcome to Breaking Bread…take a bite, chew it and join us in engaging our ideas and our community! TEDxGrandForks: Breaking Bread is based on the idea of building community and opening the table to more, not fewer, people. When you engage in the physical act of sitting down at a table, joining together with someone, you meet at a neutral point where you’re open to listening, learning and engaging. It speaks to the idea behind the physicality of eating together. Opening your mind to ideas you may disagree with, ideas you may not have considered, ideas you passionately agree with, ideas that make you happy, angry, and sad; all of these thoughts and emotions are accepted at the table. It’s a place where you can engage, listen and contemplate the big things, taking time to learn and grow from one another.   TEDxGrandForks is proud to showcase our inspiring local presenters on multiple platforms to reach a diverse and global audience, including live streaming our annual conference and uploading …

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