Month: December 2011

Celebrate the night 2011 and ring in 2012!

 - by julie

Are you looking for something to do on New Year’s Eve? Why not ring in the New Year at the Alerus Center with Celebrate the Night. Celebrate the Night is an alcohol-free event for the entire family. The event returns to the Alerus Center for another great year, with all events held under one roof.

Celebrate the Night includes entertainment and activities for all ages.

Food and drink will be available throughout the evening. The Alerus Center will have concession stands open for the event. They will have a variety of sandwiches, snacks and non-alcoholic drinks available for purchase.

Wristbands for entry to the event are on sale at Hugo’s and Valley Dairy stores in the Grand Forks area. Advance cost for the wrist bands are $5 for all ages. The wrist bands will be $8 at the door. Advanced price wrist bands are also available online here. Search for Celebrate the Night. Print your receipt, bring it along on New Year’s Eve, and receive your wristband at the door.

Volunteers are needed to help with the event. Volunteer duties may include selling wrist bands, working the doors for individual rooms, helping with the inflatable games or a variety of other duties as needed for the event. They receive a wristband and a tee shirt for the event for working a 2 or 3 hour shift. Volunteers can send an email to or call Mark at 739-2362 for more information.

Celebrate the Night continues the tradition of alcohol free New Year’s Eve events in Grand Forks. The event provides a great alternative to the bar or party scene and has something for almost everyone. Entertainment, educational activities, food, fun and more is available all under one roof.


Tucker’d Out – Tucker’d Out is 3 guys that love music.  They love the lyrics, the melodies, the “feel”, the harmonies, what it does for them and what it does for the people that listen to them.  There’s SO much great music out there to enjoy and they dive into their own collection of favorites.

Nick Bretz – Nick manages to combine magic and humor, as well as a positive message for the audience, to keep his show fresh for kids of all ages.  Would you like to get involved in the show?  Nick loves to let the audience join in the fun.

The Diers – The Diers is a family trio with a big sound that will be performing a variety of music from bluegrass to country, rock to classic standards and everything in between.

PeatMoss and the Spreaders – The Spreaders are a 3 piece band out of Grand Forks playing original and cover versions of the blues and more.

12 Houses Bellydancing – 12 Houses Bellydance is a class for learning the art of Middle Eastern Dance.  Students meet Wednesdays at 6:30pm at the 12 Houses Store in Grand Forks, ND (Next to Dakota Boys Ranch on Demers) with Instructors Debbie Jacklitch-Kuiken and Natasha Thomas. We provide experienced, historically conscious, and creative instruction in a variety of styles, from Egyptian, Turkish, Lebanese, and Persian, to Folk, Hip-Hop, and Tribal Fusion. Students have the opportunity to perform in Quarterly Haflas and attend workshops across the Midwest where they can learn more about the history and performance of this ancient art form.

The Fat Daddy’s – A four man group that performs a wide variety of music from Van Morrison to Green Day, AC/DC to Trace Adkins and much more.  They will perform music from the 60’s, 70’s, 80’s, 90’s and newer.  Ring in the new year with the Fat Daddy’s performing Auld Lang Syne.

Laser Tag – Games Galore brings Laser Tag to Celebrate the Night as a new activity.  Two teams of up to four players can compete at one time.  Take your turn to see if you can survive and defeat the other team.

Natasha Thomas – Natasha Thomas is a graduate of the University of North Dakota & Board Certified Music Therapist, serving individuals statewide through North Dakota Vision Services/School for the Blind (NDVS/SB) and ND School for the Deaf, in addition to private clients she sees in the home and in settings like LISTEN Day Services and the LISTEN Drop-In Center. Currently pursuing a Masters Degree in Special Education, Natasha is also a member of the American Music Therapy Association and regularly attends their annual conferences. She enjoys educating her community on Music Therapy, supervising UND practica students, and teaching/performing Middle Eastern Dance in her spare time (when she has it!) Her twitter handle is @MusicMovesND. You can email her at .

The Top Secret Jazz Project – Meet the TOP SECRET JAZZ PROJECT. They Are Jenny Morris, Jeff Anvinson, Spencer Black and Brandon Hettwer.  And here they are to entertain you tonight, performing some of the great jazz classics by Duke Ellington, Cole Porter and Henry Mancini, to name just a few.  For more information, please check out and now, like them on facebook!

Dakota Science – Dakota Science will have a variety of science projects for children.

Don Croeker – Don is a singer-songwriter who will be performing his own music as well as many cover tunes.

Ron Franz – Ron is a folk singer and guitar player who writes and performs many of his own songs.

Artwise – Artwise will use the theme “Artifacts” this year to set up activities that involve the children using their name or something about themselves in their art project.

Fallcreek – Fallcreek, an a cappella quartet made up of Kevin Dean, Mark Magness, Rich Derrick and Mark Diers, will be singing timeless songs from the 50s and 60s.

O’Neil Family Band – The O’Neils will be playing reels, jigs, waltzes and other string band music.

Teen Room – The teen room is a place for teenagers to hang out and have fun while the rest of the family enjoys other parts of Celebrate the Night.

Rollin’ on the River Skating – Open roller skating for all ages.  Games and other activities.  Safe Kids Grand Forks will have some helmets and pads available for use.  Rollin’ on the River holds an inline skate marathon in August.  More information on the marathon can be found on the web at

Games Galore inflatable games – Games Galore is bringing a variety of inflatable games including bounce houses for young kids, an obstacle course, joust and more.  Games Galore can be found on the internet at

Piles of Smiles – The premier face painting company in town will be decorating the faces of children from 6 until 10 PM.  For more information on Piles of Smiles go to

Forx Roller Derby – The Forx Roller Derby team will break into 2 squads and compete in a full scrimmage starting at 8 PM.  For more information on Forx Roller Derby check their web site at

Give a taste of the North

 - by julie

For those of you looking for some unique holiday gift-giving ideas, the Convention & Visitors Bureau Visitor Center houses a gift shop with a wide variety of local and regional products.  You will find such souvenir items as magnets, pins, key chains, Christmas ornaments, mugs, sweatshirts, t-shirts and caps.  We also feature North Dakota and Minnesota made food products including: North Prairie Signature bison sausage; Simple Garden Harvest soup mix; O’Connor’s mustard; RBJ’s jam; Dakota Maid pancake mix; Mable’s Taste of Home syrup; Prairie Roasters coffee and much more.

We are conveniently located at the junction of Interstate 29 (Exit 141) and Highway 2 (4251 Gateway Drive).  Our hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday.  You are invited to experience first-hand all the helpful services we offer, while getting your shopping done at the same time!

Ho, Ho, Ho…it is a happy holiday season in the Grand Cities!

 - by julie

While we are all busy shopping, decorating, baking, wrapping, etc. during the holidays it is important to remember all the spectacular offerings of the season, and the Grand Cities have many.  Here is a taste…

November 25-December 31 – Christmas in the Park Holiday Lights at Lincoln Park

December 2-3 – Winter Wonderland Concert & Feast at UND Memorial Union

December 3-4 – 2011 Holiday Home Tour in various Grand Forks homes and Myra Museum

December 4 – Gao Hong & Butterfly Concert at ND Museum of Art

December 8-11 & 15-18 – Santa’s Village at Lincoln Golf Course Clubhouse

December 13 – Tonic Sol-fa Holiday Concert at Empire Arts Center

December 17 – Lorie Line Holiday Extravaganza Concert at Chester Fritz Auditorium

December 18 – Greater Grand Forks Symphony 2011 Holiday Pops! featuring a performance by the ND Ballet Company at the Chester Fritz Auditorium

December 31 – Celebrate the Night New Year’s Celebration at the Alerus Center

For more information about these and other events, you can check the online calendar of events.  Please also like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter for great giveaways and regular Greater Grand Forks updates.