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 and socializing with other fans of all ages!
September 8 – Erich Hatwig, from Hallock, MN, has been tailgating for the past four years. He does it because he loves socializing and meeting new people while showing his love of UND Football. This group was chosen as “Tailgater of the Game” due to their energy and friendlines.
September 29 – This group of 60 people headed up by Scott Kosmatka, Todd Anvinson, Chris Misialek, Orin Knutson and Dave Lind, brought a pick-up grill, which is a 1966 Chevy converted to a grill, which is under the hood. No matter what the temperature is outside, this group is here, and they support all UND athletics.
October 13 – Sandy Berg has been tailgating at the UND Homecoming Football for the past five years; driving all the way to Grand Forks from Georgia! They had 15 tailgaters with them and an airplane as part of their props! This group knows how to warm the hearts of UND fans!
October 20 – This team includes Kevin and Kathy Smith and Dana and Janel Hermes. They have been showing their UND spirit since 1999. They are parents of former players, and the excitement of UND Football has been keeping them coming back. They love UND Football so much they many times take the trailer to away games and have people join them and sign the inside of their trailer. At this game their group of 15 was feeding guest high school teams.
Will you be at Saturday’s game? Who do you think should win the honor of “Tailgater of the Year”?
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
- 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 Tot Trot – 4 p.m. (registration) @ Riverside Park
- Potato Bowl Bash – 10 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. @ Big D’s Bar & Grill
- Rotary Club Pancake Breakfast – 7:30 to 10:30 a.m. @ Central High School
- Sons of Norway Potato Pancake Breakfast – 7:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. @ 1401 9th Avenue South, Grand Forks
- Jaycees Potato Bowl Parade – 10:30 a.m. on DeMers Avenue Downtown
- Tailgate Party – 2 to 6 p.m. @ Alerus Center parking lot
- UND Football Game vs Portland State – 6 p.m. @ Alerus Center
Further information, along with an entire schedule of events, may be found online.
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 like UND sports. While we know hockey has a huge following, Shelley recommends checking out Women’s Basketball and Volleyball. These teams never disappoint in their home arena of the Betty Engelstad Center and tix are always reasonably priced.
- Walking and jogging the Greenway – Shelley prefers to stroll the Greenway near downtown Grand Forks and East Grand Forks because it easy to stop in a bakery like Dakota Harvest Bakers, get a coffee at Urban Stampede and even do a little shopping at Kittson & 3rd, but the Greenway offers 2,200 acres lining the Red River and Red Lake River in Grand Forks and East Grand Forks with many options. There are kinds of recreational, cultural, historical and natural resource opportunities. Not only can you walk and jog, but you can use the Greenway for rollerblading, biking, canoeing, kayaking, fishing and even golf.
- River Cinema 15 in East Grand Forks is a favorite stop for Shelley after dinner at Little Bangkok. They offer the newest releases in auditoriums with stadium seating, rocker seats, DTS digital sound and 3D digital movies.
What do you think of Shelley’s faves? Do you have any suggestions to add?
The Greater Grand Forks Convention & Visitors Bureau team had a great time supplying “simply grand” hospitality over the weekend to Art Fest artists and vendors! Our group spends the weekend assisting with set up and tear down while also supplying snacks and beverages to the artists during both days of the event!
We couldn’t do it without the help of our partners though, so we extend many thanks to the following:
- University of North Dakota for the use of their mules
- Acme Rents for the use of their mules
- Simmons Flint for the use of space (and lunch during our packing party)
- Grand Forks Herald for complimentary copies of the newspaper to distribute
- Grand Forks City Mosquito Patrol for assistance with setup
Congratulations to the North Valley Arts Council for another successful Art Fest! We are looking forward to partnering again in 2013!
Now we are on to the 2012 Art & Wine Walk season, which kicks off on Saturday!
Nothing beats listening to talented musicians, outside, on a beautiful summer evening. If you agree, we’ve got some great news from you – the popular North Dakota Museum of Art Concerts in the Garden series is back again this summer! Dates, along with scheduled artists, are as follows:
- Dessa with the Sob Sisters (hip hop/rap) – June 19 @ 7 p.m.
- William Elliott Whitmore (banjo-driven blues/folk) – July 17 @ 7 p.m.
- The Pines with June Panic (indie rock/Americana/country) – July 24 @ 7 p.m.
- The David Wax Museum (indie rock/Mexican folk/Americana) – August 7 @ 7 p.m.
- She Keeps Bees (indie rock/soul) – August 21 @ 7 p.m.
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 $8 in advance, $10 at the door and free for those 12 and younger. There will also be food and beverages available for purchase. More information may be found on the Museum of Art website.
Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day, and if you are like me, you might not be completely ready for this holiday that celebrates love, but there are plenty of ways you can treat you Valentine to something special in Grand Forks. Check out these ideas:
Dinner - Grand Forks boasts a variety of exceptional restaurants with some newly opened venues that would please any special Valentine including Drunken Noodle, Fuji Japanese Steakhouse and the newly renovated Whitey’s.
Events – Does your Valentine like sports, performing arts, wine? Whatever his/her preference, Grand Forks offers Wine Club at l’Bistro, UND Women’s Basketball at Valentine Violins at Hughes Fine Arts Center. Details for each of these events can be found online.
Gifts - Is your Valentine and outdoorsman? Or a girly-girl? There are plenty of stores ready to help you out finding that special something like Cabela’s and Downtown’s newest women’s apparel and accessories addition, Kittson & 3rd.
Chocolate - Again, chocolates are standard on Valentine’s Day, but no one can argue the scrumptious chocolate found at Widman’s. George and his team make just about anything including pickles, jalepenos, olives and more, a treat with chocolate, and, of course, you can’t leave without buying some Chippers.
What are your Valentine’s plans in Grand Forks? Need more details on these and other places ready to help make your day special? Just log on to our website.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 Natasha.MTBC@gmail.com .
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 http://trulyjennymorris.webs.com 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 www.rollinontheriver-inline.com.
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 www.fargo-games-galore.com
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 www.pilesofsmilesentertainment.com.
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 www.forxrollerderby.com.
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 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 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.