Second annual Downtown Street Fair set for today, Saturday
Grand Forks' city center will be alive with music, vendors, entertainment, activities for kids and even a ventriloquist as the Downtown Street Fair heats up on Friday and Saturday. Organizers are hopeful that the second annual event will draw as ...
Grand Forks' city center will be alive with music, vendors, entertainment, activities for kids and even a ventriloquist as the Downtown Street Fair heats up on Friday and Saturday.
Organizers are hopeful that the second annual event will draw as many-or more-than the 20,000 people who attended the inaugural event in September 2016.
The street fair is free and people of all ages are welcome, said Greta Silewski, marketing and event coordinator for the Downtown Development Association, which is hosting the event.
Some downtown streets will be closed to allow for the roughly 50 vendors-including artists, artisans, photographers and reps of direct-sales businesses-to set up shop and pedestrians to roam freely.
The family-friendly event, which kicks off at 11 a.m. Friday, features a kids' zone with activities led by Friends of the Grand Forks Public Library and Grand Forks Air Force Base volunteers.
The event features lots of live entertainment including Elworth Maki II and and Nick the Swede at 3 p.m. Friday on the Xcel Energy Stage, one of five stages to be located throughout the core of the city.
"JLG Rocks the Streets" kicks off at 7 p.m. Friday in Town Square with entertainment by The Wicked Bees followed by The Fabulous Armadillos.
The latter is fronted by Billy Sherer, who grew up in Grand Forks and used to play with the Johnny Holm Band, said Jan Boe of East Grand Forks. "They are so darn fun."
"They play everything-Eagles, Doobie Brothers-you name it, they can do it," Boe said. "They're amazing. You just want to move when they play."
The group's female vocalist, Pamela McNeill, "sings like Janis Joplin," she said. "She just gets down and dirty."
On Saturday, the band, Moon Shines Red, will perform starting at 9 a.m. in Town Square.
Catch the musicians Penumbra at 11 a.m. on the Xcel Energy Stage where, later that day, Grand Forks native Jozy Bernadette, from TV's "The Voice," entertains the crowd at 12:30 p.m. and ventriloquist-comedian James Wedgwood performs at 2 p.m.
Numerous musical and other acts will fill two other stages Saturday in the downtown area.
A street dance that evening, starting at 7:30 p.m., will spotlight the bands Boomtown and Rhyme or Reason on the DDA Stage.
Silewski said she's hoping for another big crowd for the event, especially since it coincides with 52nd annual "Potato Bowl USA," a weeklong celebration of one of this region's most important agricultural products.
"It's just a lot of fun," Silewski said. "There's definitely something for everyone."
Third and Fourth streets will be closed between Kittson Avenue and First Avenue North.
On Friday, parking is free in the lot just north of DeMers Avenue, near the Sorlie Bridge.
On Saturday, parking is free in city-owned ramps on North Fourth Street and South Fifth Street, except in 24-hour signed spots.
In planning the event, the DDA partnered with the Grand Forks Convention and Visitors Bureau.