STACEY HEGGEN: Enhancing Grand Forks with events
In Greater Grand Forks Young Professionals, we have an unwritten rule. If it doesn't exist but should, and it makes sense to be here from a city-enhancement standpoint, we should create it. As a result, our members have come up with ideas such as...
In Greater Grand Forks Young Professionals, we have an unwritten rule. If it doesn't exist but should, and it makes sense to be here from a city-enhancement standpoint, we should create it. As a result, our members have come up with ideas such as ArtSee, where people are able to interact with artists while viewing their exhibits; the Iceman Triathlon, which brings out your crazy racing side (you know you have one!) in the dead of winter; and one of our newest ventures, which we call Connect the Parks.
Last Spring, a GGFYP member came up to us with an idea: Let's get people into the green spaces downtown. Before that, I thought of those places as pretty things to look at, but not necessarily enter and enjoy.
We did a little bit of research on the pocket parks and learned that they were some of the "good" that came from the flood of 1997. Today, several of them are filled with beautiful foliage, sculptures and seating areas. For our organization, creating an inviting reason for people to enjoy them made sense.
Our city is filled with a variety of talented artists, including musicians. With the help and support of local downtown businesses, we had three very successful Connect the Parks events, where anyone in the public could come and enjoy free music. Families would pack snacks and sit on blankets, a few couples strolled through hand-in-hand and the park was alive. We even lucked out with nice weather the majority of the time.
We are excited to find more local talent to share with residents again this year with Connect the Parks. Every fourth Thursday from May to August, you (and you, and you) are invited to join us in Pillsbury Park, near Urban Stampede on Kittson Avenue, for a night of free music. Interestingly enough, I found out that this somewhat coincides with the always-awesome Blues on the Red, held on the fourth Saturdays of the summer months. It'll be a great weekend to keep your dancing shoes by the door!
I encourage you to take advantage of what we have to offer this summer, especially if you are new to Grand Forks. One of my favorite places is the beautiful Greenway or one of the many parks.
And keep your eye on the calendar for other exciting upcoming events, such as the Altru Art Fest or weekly Farmer's Markets. Although I like living here year-round, summer always makes me a little bit more excited.
Heggen is executive director of Greater Grand Forks Young Professionals. Reach her at Stacey@ggfyp.com or at (218) 779-9369. Go to the group's website at GGFYP.com.