RDA Blog

2018 SocialICE Insider's Guide: All Things SocialICE

Posted on February 6,2018

SocialICE 2018 Insider's Guide: All Things SocialICE

Meet the Ice Bars

This year, SocialICE will feature nine uniquely themed ice bars all serving signature, one-of-a-kind specialty drinks, live DJ entertainment nightly, life-sized ice sculptures, and much more. 

To view the participating bars and restaurants and their unique themes, and to watch the SocialICE 2018 Specialty Drink Teaser video, click here

P.S. Check out the official event map to see the specific ice bar locations. Plus, the SocialICE letters are now on the Peace Plaza! Have you seen them? 

Tags: Events

Featured Stakeholder Series with Will Forsman, Co-Owner of Cafe Steam

Posted on November 28,2017

Cafe Steam has become a staple of our community and we know that is no easy feat. Will Forsman, co-owner of Cafe Steam sheds some light on how Cafe Steam has become much more than just your traditional coffee shop.

What is your favorite thing about Rochester?

Rochester is sort of a blank slate in the best of ways. We get to experience a lot of things for the first time that a lot of other cities are worn out on. And that joy you get from being a part of something organically happening in your city is something that can’t be replicated elsewhere. Rochester is changing - Whether its street fairs, pop-up shops, food trucks, ride sharing, start-ups, music events etc.. There are things happening in this town that it hasn’t experienced before and it’s finally becoming cool to be ‘involved’.

Tags: Food

Startup Weekend Rochester

Posted on October 24,2017

Want to learn how to transform an idea into a viable business concept? Participate in Rochester’s inaugural Startup Weekend. This event will take place from Friday November 3rd through Sunday November 5th at Collider Coworking in downtown Rochester.

Startup Weekend is an opportunity to connect with like-minded entrepreneurs, create an idea, and build the beginnings of a viable startup in fifty-four hours. The event is powered by Techstars, a global network that supports and encourages entrepreneurship. Techstars’ Startup Weekends take place in over 150 countries; 2.9K Startup Weekends have occurred to date.

Tags: Events

"It's The Most Wonderful Time of the Year...STYLE time!"

Posted on September 25,2017

This year we celebrate the 10th year of STYLE! The show is quickly approaching, but we wanted to do things a little different this year, we want to give you a backstage pass to the life of one of our STYLE Models, Melissa McNallan. Melissa McNallan is a writer, marketer, and actor based in Rochester, Minnesota. Her big obsessions are fashion, fitness, and delicious (healthy) food. She is the publisher, editor, and creator of 40fitnstylish.com and today is our guest blog writer for STYLE. Below is her story and why she models every year for this fashion forward event. 

Each time I do STYLE, it’s like a reunion. Unlike a class reunion there’s no anxiety about my accomplishments, my weight, or my relationship status. Instead, it’s about great clothes, accessories, and the best mirrors around - those involved with STYLE.

Tags: Events

Board of Directors Featuring Angie Richards and Jeanine Gangeness

Posted on September 20,2017

Part of a diverse and eclectic group, RDA Board Members Jeanine Gangeness and Angie Richards share their point of view into the RDA’s values, mission, and strategic priorities .

Which of the RDA values resonates the most with you and why?

Jeanine Gangeness: The value that most resonates with me is the focus on striving for excellence. Accessibility is essential to downtown programming for Rochester residents and visitors. Focusing on providing great events, programs and services for everyone who wants to have fun is why this value resonates with me. Similar to the work with students, staff and faculty at WSU-Rochester, accessibility and quality are essential! We have a lot of fun too!!

Angie Richards: Strive For Excellence is the core belief that resonates with personally. By facilitating engaging, fun and family-friendly programs and events downtown, this excellence creates an environment and feeling unique to Rochester. Our downtown area has an important role in economic and social development and I take pride that as we Strive for Excellence each and every day that the RDA promotes a foundation that is welcoming, accessible and approachable.

Which strategic priority is most important to you and why?

JG: The two strategic priorities that are the most important to me are the RDA’s work with multiple partners through collaboration and use of data (downtown experts). I respect the work that the RDA has done to revitalize downtown Rochester and track the impact through well managed data. Ms. Bowman has transformed the organization through effective use of data which is reflected in the increased funding over the past few years. The RDA has a small, and mighty, staff who collaborates and uses data effectively.

Why do you feel it’s important for the RDA to provide benefits, opportunities, and support for downtown Rochester?

JG: The benefits of the RDA benefits, opportunities and support has resulted in revitalization of downtown. Selfishly, I live downtown, so I love the energy of downtown Rochester, which is due to the great activities the RDA programs. Rochester is a great place to live and have fun!!

AR: Igniting downtown Rochester as a central gathering space has transformed our community, and by building upon that innovation will continue to do so in the years to come. By leading with an authentic passion for downtown, the Rochester Downtown Alliance creates a central space where business, community and cultural activities are concentrated. Where people and places have memorable experiences while at the same time growing our local economy.

Why do you feel a vibrant downtown is important?

JG: A vibrant downtown is essential to business viability and resident livability.

AR: Downtowns are iconic and powerful symbols for a city and often contain the most historic landmarks and distinctive features. A vibrant downtown, full of activity and life, is the heart of our city and having a healthy heart is essential to having a strong city. Vibrancy downtown sets the tone for investment, new business opportunities, as well as, being a place to live and visit.

Tags: Lifestyle



311 Broadway Ave South, Suite A2
Rochester, MN 55904



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