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Meet the Local Makers of Grand Forks, ND

Featuring: Julie Rygg

Executive Director , Visit Grand Forks

The bedrock of a community is the locals - characters coming together to make a destination unique.

Rediscover America recently sat down with Julie Rygg, CEO of Visit Grand Forks, to learn more about the inspiring people who contribute to the vibrant, fun-filled travel experience you'll find in Grand Forks.

#1 Support Local Artists

Who is a local maker you love supporting?

David Badman

It's surprising how many artists and crafters we have here, given the size of our community. David Badman, a metal worker, is one of my favorites. My dream is to one day have one of his mirrors. They are absolutely gorgeous.

We have so many creative, inventive community members. They all bring their unique point of view to our community, and help contribute to Grand Forks' inspiring, creative character.

"A great way to see all our artists is the annual Art on the Red event, which features a lot of our incredible local makers." Julie Rygg, Visit Grand Forks

#2 Discover Local Character

Who is the coolest character to meet in Grand Forks?

Bubba Schweigert

Bubba, the University of North Dakota football coach, is an amazing character. He is so invested in our community and dedicated to making it a better place. And, he has such a great sense of humor!

Bubba loves lending his humor and local star power to good causes in his community. Late last year, he joined forces with Visit Grand Forks to promote a fun activity in the community:

#3 Get A Fresh Taste

What is your favorite activity in Grand Forks?

Wine Tasting at Grape Mill Vineyard & Winery

On the outskirts of east Grand Forks, a local farmer named Rus Halverson opened a winery using cold-weather grapes. You can take tours and during the summer you'll find food trucks and live music on the patio area. it’s a great day trip for a girls' day.

#4 Get A Taste of Local Flavor

What is your favorite hidden gem in Grand Forks?

Darcy's Cafe

Darcy’s cafe is a small cafe that has been a Grand Forks staple for years. It's a small cafe that is always busy. I had not been there until about 2 years ago, and the food is just to die for.

"Get the cinnamon roll pancakes at Darcy's. They are like nothing you get anywhere else!" Julie Rygg, Visit Grand Forks

#5 Spend a Day Downtown

What is your favorite way to spend the day in Grand Forks?

Explore Downtown Grand Forks

Downtown is a great place to meet so many of our local makers. You can do it all in downtown - it's a lot of fun! You can spend the day exploring all the breweries, coffee shops, incredible restaurants, and galleries celebrating our amazing, artistic community.

Learn More About Rediscover America

What Is A Destination Organization?

A destination organization is responsible for promoting a community as an attractive travel destination and enhancing its public image as a dynamic place to live and work.

Get Involved

We are looking for destination marketers who want to share the hidden gems and off-the-beaten path things to do in their hometowns.

About the Contributor

Julie Rygg

Executive Director

About The Contributor

Julie Rygg grew up in Grand Forks, North Dakota. For nearly 20 years, she has dedicated her life to celebrating her community and helping visitors discover all of the amazing hidden gems Grand Forks has to offer.