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See true talent at the Chester Fritz Auditorium

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Today’s blog is from Hailie Pelka, University of North Dakota student and Greater Grand Forks Convention & Visitors Bureau intern.   You don’t have to travel to New York or Chicago to see true talent. Since October of 1972 the Chester Fritz Auditorium has been home to traveling acts, nationally acclaimed and local performances. Programs vary from country western, ballet, Broadway Theatre, University of North Dakota ensembles and many more.   There is not a bad seat in the house. The Chester Fritz, holding up to 2,400 audience members, has a unique layout with the seats being relatively close to the stage even if you are sitting in the mezzanine or balcony. The seats are comfy and the staff is more than accommodating.   This year’s performances are flying by but there is still time to experience the beauty and talent that the Chester Fritz holds. Winner of four 2010 Tony Awards including Best Musical, Memphis: the Musical will grace the stage tonight, March 3, at 7:30 p.m. Simply Three will enhance your classical music experience on Thursday night, March 26, at 7:30 p.m. The Grand Forks Chorales and the University of North Dakota Department of Music present Felix Mendelssohn’s …

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Court me

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If you’re a fan of bouncing balls and like to shake your pompoms, a University of North Dakota basketball game is a must-attend event!  Even though the men’s and women’s programs are only in the third year of official DI status, they’re already a force to be reckoned with.    Picked to finish atop the Big Sky Conference, third-year head coach Travis Brewster will once again be directing a squad of very gifted young women.  Leading scorers Mia Lloyd and Emily Evers will light up the scoreboard, while fiery guards Kelsey Knox and Leah Szabla frustrate opponents with their quickness and tenacity.  UND also has a full slate of other potent weapons including sophomore Makailah Dyer and freshman Bailey Strand.   Veteran head coach Brian Jones takes his club into this season on the heels of a 12-8 record in 2013-14 and a postseason tournament appearance.  Starters Quinton Hooker and Jaron Nash head a team of skilled players at both the offensive and defensive ends of the court.  And the tall ‘n’ talented 7-0 freshman Carson Shanks is definitely one to watch.   Along with a chance to see two of the most exciting young teams in the country compete, …

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We have spirit…yes we do!

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Feeling a little blue?  I know what will put the jingle in your bells and jolly in your holly!  If you’re looking for activities to create a festive frame of mind, Greater Grand Forks is definitely the place.  We have seasonal celebrations, concerts and everything in between.  In addition to offering great holiday bargains, our malls and specialty shops will be sparkling with beautiful decorations.    Following is a list of holiday happenings that are sure to get you feeling very merry.  More information on these and other events may be found at www.visitgrandforks.com.   Thru Dec. 7: 21st Annual Festival of Trees @ Columbia Mall Sears Wing Thru Dec. 31: Christmas in the Park Holiday Lights Tour @ Lincoln Drive Park Dec. 4-6: “Great American Trailer Park Christmas Musical” @ Empire Arts Center Dec. 6: Winter wUNDerland Concert @ Chester Fritz Auditorium Dec. 6-7: Historical Society Holiday Open House @ Myra Museum Dec. 7:  91st Annual Christmas Musicale @ United Lutheran Church Dec. 7: Annual Family Christmas Party @ Heritage Village Dec. 11-14: “Best Christmas Pageant Ever” @ Red River HS Auditorium Dec. 11-15 & 18-21: Santa Village 2014 @ Lincoln Park Club House Dec. 13: A Family Christmas …

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Applause and curtain calls

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If you’re a fan of all things musical like me, listen up!  Since 1972, the Chester Fritz Auditorium stage has hosted numerous legendary performances and with upcoming events ranging from Broadway to Beethoven and Christmas bells to steel drums, The Fritz’s 2014-15 schedule is sure to please a wide variety of tastes.      At just over 2,300 seats, Chester Fritz is the perfect size to host musical theater and intimate concerts.  Its top notch 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 Kenny Rogers, Wayne Newton, Cliff Richard, Jewel, Bette Midler and Manhattan Transfer.  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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Putting the excitement on ice

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I must admit, I’ve grown up a big basketball fan.  Even though that is still my first love, when I finally experienced Division I college hockey live, I was hooked!  If you’ve never been, Grand Forks offers plenty of chances to see all the action up close.   Under 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 standouts like Andrea Dalen and Josefine Jakobsen returning, UND is sure to see playoff action again this season.   The University of North Dakota Men’s Hockey team, with veteran coach and former UND hockey handout Dave Hakstol at the helm, is looking to end the season atop the newly formed NCHC.  The whole crowd will jump to its feet after every goal and with future NHL stars like Nick Schmaltz and Luke Johnson on the roster, 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 …

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Greater Grand Forks: A Tale of Two Hotels

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Today’s blog is written Shel Zolkewich, Manitoba travel and food blogger and friend to Greater Grand Forks.   Accommodations abound in Greater Grand Forks. There is truly a room for every traveler – whether you need the comforts of home (and more) or are in search of a rock-bottom deal. Let’s look at a couple of options.   Travelodge, 2100 South Washington Street, Grand Forks We have been staying at the Travelodge for so long that we still sometimes call it by its old name – The North Star Inn. There’s something to be said for a hotel that retains customers for decades upon decades. What the Travelodge might lack in fanciness, it makes up for in service and value. I’m not sure you can find friendlier front desk staff anywhere. And it’s not just one individual that stands out. They are all a joy to deal with and they always have been. The rooms are big – likely the biggest hotel rooms we’ve ever seen, each outfitted with a microwave and fridge. It has an old-style pool area and that means the pool itself is big – perfect for a game of keepaway with family and friends. The hot …

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UND Football “Tailgater of the Year” to be awarded this Saturday

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It has been an exciting first season in the Big Sky Conference for the University of North Dakota Football team! UND will host their final home game of the regular season this Saturday, November 3, at the Alerus Center. I definitely appreciate the opportunity to watch football indoors at the beginning of November in North Dakota!   The Convention & Visitors Bureau has been a proud sponsor of the Tailgating Village outside the Alerus Center for the last two seasons, and this year we designated a “Tailgater of the Game” at each home game with the winner(s) receiving prize packages valued at $250. This Saturday the “Tailgater of the Year” will be crowned from the pool of the past five winners. This recipient will receive a prize package valued at $500 along with bragging rights and a flag designating the title!   These high-spirited UND Football fans fill the Alerus Center parking lot hours before each game with food, festivities and fun. Here are the game winners and the entries for “Tailgater of the Year”:   August 30 – Al Pearson has been enjoying UND Football since 1961, and when he is tailgating he is decked out in UND gear …

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Tater time fun for tots and adults

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This year marks the 47th Anniversary of a Greater Grand Forks tradition known as Potato Bowl USA. This week (September 3-8) will be full of entertaining events centered around our region’s most popular staple crop. There will be tons of great food including a potato pancake breakfast, baked potato bars and of course, the World’s Largest French Fry Feed. The festivities culminate on Saturday with a parade, tailgate party and Unviersity of North Dakota football game. Make sure to bring the whole family out to one of North Dakota’s best and tastiest celebrations guaranteed to be “spudtacular” fun for all!   Scheduled activities for the remainder of the week:   Wednesday, September 5 Potato Chip Giveaway @ Columbia Mall Thursday, September 6 Baked Potato Bar – 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. @ all Hugo’s locations World’s Largest French Fry Feed (food/soda stands, inflatable games, French fry eating contest, live music, meet UND athletes) – 4:30 p.m. @ University Park Rydell Fireworks Display – Dusk @ UND Memorial Stadium Friday, September 7 Baked Potato Bar – 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. @ all Hugo’s locations Sioux Booster Luncheon – 12 noon @ Alerus Center Hugo’s Potato Bowl 8K Run & Tater …

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Shelley’s Five Favorites in the Forks

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The Greater Grand Forks Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB) wants to assist visitors in every way we can, so we are starting a new addition to our blog. We are asking members of our team as well as other members of the community to share with us their Five Favorites in the Forks. That way visitors can hear what the locals enjoy with some special hints. We are starting with Shelley who is the Communications Coordinator at the CVB. She is sharing her five picks for shopping, dining and things to do…   Little Bangkok – Lunch and dinner at Little Bangkok is always a great experience with a variety of Thai and Japanese dishes on the menu including an array of fresh sushi creations. Shelley’s faves include the DeMers Avenue (sushi roll), Drunken Noodles (entree) and Vinho Verde (wine). Macy’s – Shelley is always on the lookout for a deal in the coolest trends, and she finds them at Macy’s in the Columbia Mall. She also recommends using the 10% off International Visitor Pass that can be found on the Deals & Discounts section of our website. University of North Dakota Women’s Basketball and Volleyball – There is nothing …

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Simply grand events – week of August 20

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