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Tater time fun for tots and grown-ups

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FrenchFryFeed

This year marks the 53rd Anniversary of a SimplyGrand tradition known as Potato Bowl USA.  The week of September 18-22 will be filled with entertaining events centering on our region’s most popular staple crop.  Expect tons of tasty food including a potato pancake breakfast, baked potato bars and of course, the World’s Largest French Fry Feed & Fireworks display.   Friday offers up a great time for the little ones at the Get Wet & Run Wild! Kids Fun Run and some adult cheer that night during a “Rockin’ the Forks” party, in Town Square, featuring live music, food and beverages. The festivities culminate on Saturday with a parade, tailgate party and University of North Dakota football game.   Make sure to bring the whole family out to one of North Dakota’s best and tastiest celebrations…when the chips are down, count on Potato Bowl USA to offer up the most spudtacular time around!   POTATO BOWL USA WEEK HIGHLIGHTS Tuesday, September 18 Potato Bowl PLINKO Contest begins – Register at any local Hugo’s Family Marketplace Wednesday, September 19 Potato Bowl Golf Scramble – 11 AM at Valley Golf Course Thursday, September 20 Baked Potato Bar – 11 AM to 1:30 …

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Touchdowns, Tailgating and SimplyGraND Times

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With just a week remaining until the University of North Dakota football team officially opens its season, head coach Bubba Schweigert is hoping y’all will be his 12th player. The whole crowd is sure to be up cheering after every touchdown and with some of the best athletes in the country on the field, don’t expect to spend very much time in your seat!  Along with talented junior transfer quarterback Nate Ketteringham plus top senior running backs John Santiago and Brady Oliveira, they hope to lead the Fighting Hawks to another winning season.  Undefeated in 2016 conference play, UND hopes to capture the chemistry from that season and their first NCAA Division I-AA Championship!   You’ll also be able to enjoy all the Alerus Center’s indoor comforts and jumbotron screens that highlight every play, providing an up-close view of the action.  A few of their newer enhancements include an updated sound system, top-of-the-line LED sports lighting and free public access Wi-Fi.  Feeling hungry?  Make sure to check out the large concession area with a variety of delicious food and beverages, including a featured Panini of the Game, The Grand Hot Dog and Coach Bubba Burger: quarter pound beef patty with …

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Showing off at the Fritz

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Move over Big Apple, Grand Forks is stealing some of the spotlight when it comes to bringing in top-notch shows!  Since 1972, the Chester Fritz Auditorium stage has hosted numerous legendary performances in a variety of genres. With events ranging from Broadway musicals to Moscow’s ballet, their current schedule promises not to disappoint.   At just over 2,300 seats, Chester Fritz is the perfect size to host musical theater and intimate concerts.  The superb 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 the Oak Ridge Boys, Foreigner, John Mellencamp, Bette Midler and Jerry Seinfeld. 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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Rockin’ the Ralph & Betty too

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Everyone knows about all the exciting happenings that take place at the awesome Ralph Engelstad Arena (REA).  However, the Betty Engelstad Sioux Center (BESC) right next door has got it goin’ on, as well!   Since its completion, the Betty has welcomed many great events and is best known as the host facility for the NCAA Division I Big Sky Conference University of North Dakota Women’s Basketball, Volleyball and Men’s Basketball teams.  Prior to their Division I transition, it was even voted the best Division II women’s basketball facility in the nation.   Of course, the Ralph is home to eight-time Division I National Champion University of North Dakota Men’s Hockey.  Some of the other things held there include concerts by a variety of award-winning musicians and nationally popular stand-up comedians, Disney productions and an array of professional sporting events.   Both facilities feature beautiful granite floor lobbies, large concessions and lounge areas and hall of fame sections for their respective sports.  For a nominal fee, you may join one of the guided tours taking place every Monday through Friday, at 1:30 PM, beginning and ending in the Ralph’s Sioux Shop.  This 90-minute trek tours guests through the entire $100+ …

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Forksful of weekend fun

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Sadly, summer is coming to an end but in these two towns, we plan on sending that season out with a bang!  This weekend alone, here are just five of many SimplyGrand to-dos:   GET BOWLED OVER.  One of our region’s most popular festivals celebrating one of our most popular staple crops, Potato Bowl Week USA offers up a spudtacular time for all September 5-9! Some of the highlights include the World’s Largest French Fry Feed & Fireworks Display on Thursday and Get Wet & Run Wild! Kids Fun Run on Friday.  The week culminates Saturday with a Potato Pancake Breakfast (7:30 AM to 1 PM at Sons of Norway), Parade (10 AM down University Avenue), Tailgate Party (beginning at 8 AM in Alerus Center parking lot) and the 52nd Annual Potato Bowl Football Game featuring our UND Fighting Hawks taking on Missouri State (4 PM kick-off at Alerus Center).   STOP, SHOP & ROCK.  September 8 and 9, from 11 AM to 6 PM on Friday and 9 AM to 6 PM on Saturday, DeMers & 3rd will be hoppin’ during the 2nd Annual Downtown Street Fair!  Dozens of food trucks will be on hand, as well as a …

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Tater time fun for tots and adults

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FrenchFryFeed

This year marks the 52nd Anniversary of a SimplyGrand tradition known as Potato Bowl USA. The week of September 5-9, 2017, will be filled with entertaining events centering on our region’s most popular staple crop. There will be tons of tasty food including a potato pancake breakfast, baked potato bars and of course, the World’s Largest French Fry Feed & Fireworks display. Friday offers up a great time for the little ones at the Get Wet & Run Wild! Kids Fun Run…and a rockin’ time for adults later that night during JLG’s Rock the Streets Dance. The festivities culminate on Saturday with a parade, tailgate party and University of North Dakota football game. Make sure to bring the whole family out to one of North Dakota’s best and tastiest celebrations…it’s sure to be a spudtacular time for all!   Potato Bowl USA Week Highlights Tuesday, September 5 Potato Bowl PLINKO Contest begins – Register at any local Hugo’s Family Marketplace Wednesday, September 6 Potato Bowl Golf Scramble – 11 AM at Valley Golf Course Thursday, September 7 Baked Potato Bar – 11 AM to 1:30 PM at all local Hugo’s locations World’s Largest French Fry Feed (free fries courtesy of …

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Scoring and soaring to new heights

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The whole crowd will be up cheering after every Fighting Hawks touchdown and with some of the best athletes in the country on the field, don’t expect to spend very much time in your seat! 2016 Big Sky Coach of the Year, Bubba Schweigert, has developed quite a pattern in his four years at UND: every season the team produces more positive results than the season before. Along with talented senior quarterback Keaton Studsrud and top running back John Santiago, they hope to lead the University of North Dakota Fighting Hawks to another championship season. Undefeated in 2016 conference play, UND is picked to finish atop the Big Sky once again in 2017!   You’ll also be able to enjoy all of the Alerus Center’s indoor comforts and jumbotron screens that capture every play you missed or just have to see one more time. A few of this season’s enhancements include a brand new sound system, top-of-the-line LED sports lighting and free public access Wi-Fi. Feeling hungry? Make sure to check out the large concession area with a variety of delicious food and beverages, including a new featured Panini of the Game, The Grand Hot Dog and Coach Bubba Burger: …

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SimplyGrand Shows Worth Standing O’s

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Wanna take a trip to the Great White Way without ever leaving Greater Grand Forks? Since 1972, the Chester Fritz Auditorium stage has hosted numerous legendary performances. With upcoming events ranging from Broadway to Beethoven and Christmas bells to steel drums, The Fritz’s current schedule is sure to please a wide variety of tastes, as well.   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 Jerry Seinfeld, Kenny Rogers, John Mellencamp, Jewel, Gordon Lightfoot and Bette Midler. 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 …

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Takin’ it to the hoop

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If you’re a fan of high scoring, fast paced action and March Madness is your favorite time of year, a University of North Dakota Fighting Hawks basketball game is right up your alley…or court! Even though the men’s and women’s programs are only in their 5th season of Division I Big Sky Conference play, they’re already a force to be reckoned with.   Veteran head coach Brian Jones takes his club into this season on the heels of a 10-8 conference record in 2015-16 and a postseason tournament appearance. Starters Quinton Hooker and Carson Shanks head a team of skilled players at both the offensive and defensive ends of the court. The quick and tenacious sophomore guard Geno Crandall is also one to watch.   Strong favorites to finish atop the Big Sky, 4th season head coach Travis Brewster will once again be directing a squad of very gifted women. Leading scorers Makailah Dyer and Samantha Roscoe will light up the scoreboard, while fiery guard Leah Szabla frustrates opponents with her ball-handling and defensive skills. UND also has a full slate of other potent weapons including Bailey Strand and NDSU transfer Holly Johnson.   Along with a chance to see …

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Putting the excitement on ice

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In full discloser, I grew up in small North Dakota town where high school hoops ruled. Even though basketball 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 Lisa Marvin and Amy Menke, UND is sure to see playoff action again this season.   The University of North Dakota Fighting Hawks Men’s team, with veteran coach and former UND hockey handout Brad Berry at the helm, is looking to end the season atop the NCHC. The whole crowd will jump to its feet after every goal and with future NHL stars like Gage Ausmus and Brock Boeser 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 …

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