For anyone who loves music, the arts, food trucks and outdoor activities, the Greenway in downtown Grand Forks is the place to be starting Thursday, Sept. 9.
The Fourth Annual Greenway Takeover will be presented Thursday-Sunday, Sept. 9-12, by HB Sound and Light and Happy Harry’s Bottle Shops. The festival entrance is behind the Toasted Frog restaurant, near Second Avenue North and Third Street.
Headlining the event each day of the festival are: G. Love & Special Sauce, Thursday; Soul Asylum, Friday; Trampled by Turtles, Saturday; and I Am They and Koo Koo Kanga Roo, Sunday. They all will perform on the main stage, the Sorlie Stage.
The festival is dedicated to the Grand Forks high school classes of 1997, whose proms were canceled due to a devastating flood. Soul Asylum played that spring for the students in an event held in lieu of their proms, and the group released an album that same year.
“We’re hearing a lot of buzz about (their upcoming performance here),” said Tricia Halvorson Lunski, HB Sound and Light marketing and festival manager. “I think it’ll be pretty special.”
Koo Koo Kanga Roo is “two goofy guys out of Minneapolis” who sing songs and do dances to them, Lunski said. “Kids, especially 5- to 7-year-olds, go crazy for them. We’re expecting a really good turnout for that.”
On Thursday, Moon Cats will open at 6:15 p.m. for G. Love & Special Sauce, which hits the stage at 8:30 p.m. On Friday, Wildview performs at 7 p.m. before Soul Asylum takes over at 9:30 p.m. On Saturday, the Pat Lenertz Band plays at 6:30 p.m. before the Trampled by Turtles performance begins at 9:30 p.m. And Sunday, the headlining acts are Koo Koo Kanga Roo at noon and I Am They at 2:30 p.m.
A special new attraction this year is a 220-foot zip-line that “we’re pretty excited about,” Lunski said. The fees are $10 per ride or two for $16. There’s a weight limit, but children as young as 5 or 6 could ride it, “they have to be able to close the harness,” and participants should wear closed-toe shoes, she said.
The Sorlie and Strive Life stages will feature live musical entertainment throughout the festival, “and they just go back and forth -- so there’s always music happening,” Lunski said.
A third, new stage, the Myra Foundation Stage, situated inside a tent, will have more interactive experiences, Lunski said. “It’s programmed, so one hour you could learn a new dance and the next hour you could learn how to write a song and the next hour it might be ArtWise. So it’s programmed all day -- we’re pretty excited about that.”
Local favorites will perform, including Misti Koop, with “Misti-fied” entertainment for kids, and the North Dakota Ballet Company on Thursday; Cheron, Entropy, Mandalynne and Blake & Berge on Friday; and The Diers, Chris Johnson, the Ferguson Family 5, The Dank, the Jimmy River Band, and members of the Fire Hall Theatre on Saturday. Many more acts are scheduled throughout the event. Visit www.greenwaytakeover.com for a complete listing.
At 9:30 a.m. Sunday, a “Church on the Greenway” service will be led by Hope Church of Grand Forks. Also Sunday, ArtWise will be at the festival from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and, on the Myra Foundation Stage, a puppet show begins at 11 a.m. and a “Learn how to conduct” session starts at noon.
Grand Forks native Andrew Towne, who reached the summit of Mount Everest in May 2017, will be the keynote speaker as the Greater Grand Forks Young Professionals organization wraps up its annual launch, Lunski said. He’s scheduled to speak at noon Friday on the Sorlie Stage.
Breweries and other reminders
A craft beer row will feature the Rhombus Guys, Half Brothers and Ox breweries. Drinks and beer will be available from The Bun lounge.
Patrons 21 years of age and older, who plan to consume alcohol, should obtain a wristband at the entrance, with ID.
Guests attending the Greenway Takeover Festival are welcome to park on the street or in downtown parking ramps. Bicycles are not allowed on the grounds; bike racks are available on-site.
The festival is a family- and pet-friendly event. Animals must be leashed.
Picnic benches will be available near Food Truck Alley, where 11 food vendors will be offering a wide variety of meals and snacks. No outside food or beverages will be permitted on the festival grounds.
Festival vendors will only accept “festival dollars,” which may be purchased at on-site booths.
Bleachers are available on-site by the main stage. People are strongly encouraged to bring blankets and chairs to ensure they have a comfortable place to sit.
The Green Dot Trot 3K Community Fun Run or Walk is planned for 7:30 p.m. Saturday at the festival. Green Dot is a bystander intervention strategy that focuses on what everyone can do to create a safer community. A virtual trot is also available.
The registration fee will include a Green Dot Trot shirt, drawstring bag and a free entry to the Greenway Takeover Festival on Saturday evening with your Trot shirt.
For more information, visit https://greendotggf.com .
The Greenway Takeover Festival is a celebration of the arts and music, and a way to bring music back to Grand Forks. The community celebration represents HB’s “thank you” to the community, Lunski said. “Without the community, HB Sound and Light wouldn’t be a company. The community has allowed us to flourish.”
In addition to the presenting sponsors, many other organizations and businesses are supporting the festival. Among the highest contributors are: Special Friends of the Festival - the city of Grand Forks, the Greater Grand Forks Convention and Visitors Bureau, and the Community Foundation of Grand Forks, East Grand Forks and Region. Gold sponsors are Altru Health System, Rydell Chevrolet and Simplot Food Group.
Greenway Takeover Festival tickets are available online (www.greenwaytakeover.com/tickets) and at the gate. A limited number of VIP tickets are available at $125 for all four days. General admission is free before 6 p.m., $10 after 6 p.m. A festival pass is available for $25 for all four days. Children 5 and younger are admitted free.
For a complete schedule of events, go to www.greenwaytakeover.com .
Volunteers are needed. If interested, go to www.greenwaytakeover.com and click on "get involved."