Potato Bowl USA week is just one reason to love life around here, but, if you're new, we've got other suggestions


Kate Menzies

Document Type


Publication Date



Potato Bowl USA week is just one reason to love life around here, but, if you're new, we've got other suggestions

What is it that makes Grand Forks and East Grand Forks so grand?

Is it the people, the winters or the University of North Dakota? The answer to this is all of the above.

Nestled in heart of the Red River Valley, the Grand Cities are loaded with hidden treasures, and the folks around here can get pretty creative when it comes to having fun. For starters, this week marks the 49th Annual Potato Bowl USA celebration. The week of events is probably the most visible sign of University-community interaction, apart from athletic contests at Ralph Engelstad Arena or the Alerus Center. Potato Bowl USA week culminates Saturday with a parade and football game against Robert Morris University at 6 p.m., at the Alerus Center.

Another of the signature community events of Potato Bowl USA is the annual French fry feed at University Park. The event, which takes Thursday, from 4:30 p.m.-dusk, has been dubbed the World's largest French fry feed, unites University of North Dakota athletics and our regional potato industry for an evening full of spuds and spirit. Many years, the feed results in the setting of a world record for most French fries consumed.

As far as other fun and interesting things to see and do in the Grand Cities and at UND, here are 21 ideas to get you going:

  1. Be a part of UND's amazing cheering section and attend at least one game of each sport.
  2. What's a college student's staple food item? Pizza. Make it your mission to try every pizza place in town – some Grand Forks originals, include Deek's, Poplino's and Rhombus Guys.
  3. Use the more than 43 miles of Grand Forks bicycle trails, many along the Red River and the Grand Forks Greenway system.
  4. Take a casual swing at golfing at UND's own Ray Richards golf course.
  5. Catch a movie at Carmike Cinema on 32nd Avenue South or River Cinema 15 in the East Grand Forks' Riverwalk Centre.
  6. Hit the well-equipped UND Wellness Center or one of the local outdoor parks for a game of soccer, volleyball, basketball or tennis.
  7. Speaking of the Wellness Center, grab your friends and hit the great outdoors with equipment from Outpost Rentals.
  8. Visit/volunteer at the Circle of Friends Humane Society on Grand Forks north side.
  9. Who says bingo isn't cool? Dab your dobbers at the Bingo Palace in the Grand Cities Mall and win some money!
  10. Attend a UND theatrical production at the historic Burtness Theatre, along the English Coulee on campus.
  11. Try bowling at Liberty Lanes in East Grand Forks or Red Ray Lanes in Grand Forks.
  12. Visit a local art exhibit the UND Art Collections Gallery in the Empire Arts Center, or at the North Dakota Museum of Art.
  13. Take a ceramic class at Muddy Waters Clay Center.
  14. Stroll through Sertoma Park and the authentic Japanese Garden.
  15. A pick-up game of "shinny hockey" with friends is a popular winter pastime on Grand Cities' outdoor rinks.
  16. Bounce around at Northern Air's massive trampoline park. With 92 trampolines, it is the largest of its kinds in the region.
  17. Get lost with a good book in the Chester Fritz Library – the largest collection of tomes, great works and historic records between the Twin Cities and Seattle.
  18. Grab a Grinder at the Red Pepper, voted best late-night food in the United States by Esquire magazine.
  19. Take a walking tour of downtown Grand Forks and East Grand Forks, to include the nearby Greenway system, to learn about the area's history and love-hate relationship with the Red River.
  20. Enjoy the boundless talents of UND student and faculty artists at the Hughes Fine Arts Center by taking in any of a multitude of concerts, performances and art showings throughout the year.
  21. Cross-country ski or snowshoe along the Banks of the red in the winter. It's a great alternative for seasonal exercise.

This document is currently not available here.