Happy Harry's Pork & Brew planned for Saturday at Alerus Center

Jan. 25—GRAND FORKS — The Happy Harry's Pork and Brew event is returning to the Alerus Center.

The beer- and food-tasting event was an annual wintertime event in Grand Forks until the COVID-19 pandemic hit in 2020. Now, it's back, and once again will be a go-to spot for beer lovers and anyone craving bacon or pork-based treats.

The Saturday, Jan. 28, event at the Alerus Center is open to anyone 21 and older. Use entrance 2 on the building's southwest side. Doors open at 3:30 p.m. for VIP ticket-holders and at 5 p.m. for general admission ticket-holders.

Derek Hoffert, assistant general manager/director of partnerships at the Alerus Center, said the event typically draws a big walk-up crowd, but he advises attendees to purchase tickets in advance since ticket sales have been strong so far. This year, the venue is expecting a crowd of approximately 2,500, he said.

The celebration of all things bacon, pork and beer will feature samples of more than 100 craft beers from local and regional breweries, as well as dishes prepared by local restaurant chefs. All samples are included in the price of admission.

Guests will be able to sample beers, ciders and seltzers offered by more than 40 vendors.

Foods will be served by various entities, including Harry's Steakhouse, Ground Round, Bigfoot Bar and Grill, Drafts Bar and Grill, Something Sweet, Ely's Ivy, The Shire, Canad Inns and the North Dakota Pork Council.

Live music will be provided by two groups: Smith & Loven Six String Circus from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. and the Jimmy River Band from 6 to 8 p.m.

Tickets, $35, are available at Grand Forks Happy Harry's locations or online at


. VIP tickets, $70, are also available. Prices will increase on the day of the event.

Live music by "Four Mile Portage," of Duluth, will be featured at the next Community Folk Arts event, 7:30 to 10 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 28, at the East Grand Forks Senior Center, 538 Rhinehart Dr. S.E.

The "New Year Dance" event, sponsored by the North Country Fiddle and Dance organization, will include reels, squares, circle mixers and more. Callers will be Tom Maloney, Brandy Forsman and Jeanne O'Neil.

Donations will be accepted at the door.

Guests of all ages are welcome, including singles, couples and families, O'Neil said. No experience is necessary; all dances will be taught and are easy to learn, she said.

The event is made possible in part by a grant provided by the Northwest Minnesota Arts Council through funding from the Minnesota State Legislature with money from the state's general fund.

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Hope Church is seeking about 200 volunteers for the Tim Tebow Foundation's Night to Shine 2023 event, set for 6-9 p.m., Feb. 10, at the church.

The prom-type event, which is an opportunity to celebrate people with special needs, will be held simultaneously at locations around the world.

Hope Church "is excited to be part of this worldwide move that God is using as a catalyst to change how cultures embrace people with disabilities and to rally the church worldwide to honor their local community of people with special needs, ensuring they know they are valued and loved," according to a news release from Annie Larson, local coordinator.

People with special needs, who are over the age of 14, may participate in this unforgettable prom night, Larson said. About 150 volunteers will each be paired with a person with special needs; another 50-60 volunteers also are needed.

The complimentary event will feature hair-and-makeup stations, a shoe-shining area, corsages and boutonnieres, a red carpet, a catered dinner, prom favors, karaoke and a dance — all leading up to the moment when each guest is crowned king or queen of the prom.

"Night to Shine" was launched in 2015 with 44 host churches and 15,000 volunteers in honoring more than 7,000 kings and queens. In February 2020, 721 host churches and 215,000 volunteers came together to celebrate 110,000 honored guests with special needs.

Grand Forks is one of three North Dakota locations where "Night to Shine" will be held, Larson said. Others are Fargo and Harvey.

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Red River High School will host the annual Myra Jazz Festival, set for Tuesday-Wednesday, Jan. 31-Feb. 1 in the school's Performance Hall.

Participants will include students from middle and high schools in Grand Forks, East Grand Forks and the surrounding region.

Middle school bands will perform from 9 to 11:30 a.m. Tuesday; high school bands will perform in the morning and afternoon Wednesday.

The Myra Jazz Band, under the direction of Robert Brooks, director of jazz ensembles at UND, will perform at 1 p.m. Wednesday. This concert will feature performances by guest clinicians as soloists.

The festival is free and open to the public both days.

Guest clinicians are Brian Handeland, a Minneapolis-based saxophonist and music educator who is working on numerous musical projects including JazzMN Orchestra and Fuzzy Math, and David Stanoch, who has drummed professionally since age 12, building an eclectic reputation working with artists in jazz, rock, rhythm and blues, Broadway, motion pictures and television.

The Myra Jazz Festival is fully funded by a grant from the Myra Foundation.