Discover Downtown Rochester

Here Comes Santa Claus: A Holiday Playlist

While you're trimming the tree and decking the halls, listen up! In anticipation for Here Comes Santa Claus presented by Altra Federal Credit Union November 27, we've put together a playlist of holiday classic songs and a few Rochester Downtown Alliance staff favorites. Grab a cup of hot chocolate and hit play on this Here Comes Santa Claus-inspired playlist!

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5 Safe Ways to Experience the Magic of the Holiday Season

"Home for the Holidays" takes on a whole new meaning this year. Let's not let COVID-19 be the Grinch in 2020. Celebrate the season with these five safe ways to experience the magic of the holidays in downtown Rochester.

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Safe Shopping and Dining Hours during Small Business Saturdays 2020

To support the safety of all types of shoppers this holiday season, these downtown Rochester businesses will be offering dedicated safe shopping hours during which people with health concerns may be able to shop, dine, or experience the business.

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Altra Federal Credit Union, a Kind Here Comes Santa Claus partner

Altra Federal Credit Union is a community-oriented entity with a big heart, even more so around the holidays. As the presenting partners of Here Comes Santa Claus November 27 in downtown Rochester, Altra Federal Credit Union shares why they partner on the Rochester tradition. Bonus: find out what are Dusty's and Kristina's favorite holidays traditions in this short video!

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Sleigh Guide to Here Comes Santa Claus

The holidays provide a happy feeling nothing in the world can buy. Here Comes Santa Claus presented by Altra Federal Credit Union November 16 - 27 is one such yuletide treasures. November will have lovely weather for a Sleigh Guide to Here Comes Santa Claus, filled with a variety of ways to safely enjoy the holidays!

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11 Reasons to Shop Small in Downtown Rochester

This year marks the 11th Small Business Saturday, a day to celebrate your favorite small businesses and make a difference in the community. Here are the top 11 reasons (not in order of importance) to Shop Small in downtown Rochester November 28 and every Saturday until December 19!

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How to park for free in downtown Rochester

Through October 31, when you shop, dine, or support a service or experience business downtown, get a three-hour free parking voucher to use at any of the six municipal ramps. Downtown Rochester businesses are working hard to safely serve you. Support them back and get three hours of free parking as a thank you! City of Rochester CARES funding is being used to support this program.

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All-ages family fun in downtown Rochester

Finding ways to keep kids entertained and out of trouble can be tough. Luckily, downtown Rochester offers all kinds of adventures for every age range. Check off these all-ages family fun activities that can be found in downtown Rochester!

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Gluten-free menu options in downtown Rochester

Gluten free or not: that is the question. It can be difficult to know which restaurants offer gluten-free options. Look no further! This blog lists the gluten-free friendly downtown Rochester restaurants and each one's top menu item.

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Get to Know an Ambassador: Nyah Cross

It's time to meet another of our Clean and Safe Ambassadors, Nyah Cross. Find out why she believes the golden rule (treat others as you wish to be treated) can be applied to downtown Rochester in her Get to Know an Ambassador feature.

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Why taking the 2020 census is important for downtown Rochester

There's one small task those living in downtown Rochester can do to help shape the future of our community: taking the 2020 census. Here are the five W's—what, who, when, where, and why— of the census and its impacts on our downtown Rochester community.

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Get to Know an Ambassador: Lexi Johnson

Meet Lexi Johnson, one of our Clean and Safe Ambassadors who provides daily cleaning and hospitality services in downtown Rochester. As a new resident of Rochester and employee in downtown, Lexi shares how high school sports helped set up a positive work experience in the Clean and Safe Ambassador Program and what public space in downtown is a favorite.

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Get to Know an Ambassador: Milton Prince

Meet Milton Prince, one of our Clean and Safe Ambassadors you'll likely see or have seen in downtown Rochester. He takes such pride in his work as an Ambassador and wants to make sure people visiting downtown have a good experience. Let's get to know him better so he'll be like a friend you meet on the street next time you're in downtown.

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90 Seconds with a Virtual Thursdays Downtown Partner: ABC 6 News

In this 90 Seconds with a Virtual Thursdays Downtown Partner featuring ABC 6 News, Ross Becker shares what dream Virtual Thursdays Downtown performer he’d book, and Laura Lee settles the debate between arts and food!

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#ShopSmall at Downtown Rochester Places You Love

Save when you shop at your faves! Take advantage of a special American Express offer of up to $50 back this summer when you use your Amex® card at select businesses that accept it like the ones in this blog. Give a little, get a little and show your support for the downtown Rochester business community.

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Labor Day from downtown Rochester businesses

Labor Day signals the end of summer. Take advantage of these summer deals and promotions from downtown Rochester businesses before they end, too!

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90 Seconds with a Virtual Thursdays Downtown Partner: Townsquare Media

Who would James Rabe and Jessica Williams of the Y105 FM Early Morning Show book for their dream Virtual Thursdays Downtown performance? Find out in this 90 Seconds with a Virtual Thursdays Downtown Partner featuring Townsquare Media in Rochester, Minnesota!

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Get to Know an Ambassador: Tim Woodward

If you’ve noticed people in bright orange shirts sanitizing, picking up trash, and assisting with directions since July, you’ve seen our Clean and Safe Ambassadors in action. Tim Woodward may have been one of them who started daily cleaning and hospitality services in our downtown in July. Because he's now likely a familiar face, let’s get to know more about him.

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One month of Clean and Safe Ambassadors in downtown Rochester

In just one month, the Rochester Downtown Alliance's Clean and Safe Ambassadors have made a noticeable impact in our downtown since starting July 1. (Daily cleaning and hospitality services will do that!) From disinfecting public spaces to picking up trash to removing graffiti, here are just a few stats from our Ambassadors' work from July 1 to 31.

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Feedback for Fall 2020 Events

It’s been a crazy spring and summer, and we suspect fall and winter will keep on throwing us curveballs. Thank you to all of you who have continued to safely support our downtown businesses throughout the year. While we’ve been working on a number of new initiatives this year, we know you first fell in love with RDA for our in-person events. If we can find a creative way to safely adapt one of our fall programs to a COVID-19 context, which would you like to see us try?

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Downtown Has You Covered: Shop Face Coverings and Masks

In addition to taking measures to ensure customer and employee safety, many downtown Rochester retailers are offering different types of face masks. Adjusting to the "new normal" is easier when you can find a mask that feels comfortable for you-- and in colors and fabrics that have the potential to spark some joy too! Here is where you can find face coverings, masks, and other COVID-related care items downtown.

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Get to Know an Ambassador: Jim Bill Woods

From sanitizing to pulling weeds to power washing, Clean Team Ambassadors have been hard at work in downtown Rochester since the Clean and Safe Ambassador Program launched July 1. People visiting, residing in, and working in downtown Rochester more than likely have seen these friendly faces, so let's get to meet one of them: Jim Bill Woods.

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Hot Deals during downtown Rochester's Summer Sale July 15-31

Give me hot, hot, hot...deals, that is! Downtown Rochester retailers are turnin' up the heat on Summer Sale 2020 discounts. Whether in-store or online, all in a day or over the expanded two-week experience, you can take comfort in knowing you can shop at your convenience. Find out which downtown Rochester stores are offering sales during Summer Sale July 15 through 31 here.

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Help us improve Virtual Thursdays Downtown 2020

Virtual Thursdays Downtown is a new endeavor in 2020, and we want to know what you think! Please fill out this short survey to let us know what you like about the event and what could improve your virtual experience.

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How Quick Collaboration Led to Downtown Rochester’s Creative Outdoor Dining

If the COVID-19 pandemic has provided one life lesson, it has been to creatively adapt to changing situations, sometimes with the help from others. For those in the restaurant industry, this was the name of the game. Find out how local eateries reimagined dining with the help from design firms, local organizations, and government to creatively adapt to COVID-19.

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Get to Know an Ambassador: Jolene Schultz

Clean and Safe Ambassadors are providing an essential service in downtown Rochester. Let's get to know Jolene Schultz, a Clean Team Ambassador, through our Get to Know an Ambassador questions.

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Virtual Thursdays Downtown Online Entertainment Line-up

If you happen to be in the right place at the right time in downtown Rochester, enjoy a pop-up performance from the weekly Virtual Thursdays Downtown entertainment. Find the performance schedule and viewing links here.

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Fourth of July from downtown Rochester

Amid the red, white, and blue, downtown Rochester businesses have deals for you! Fourth of July 2020 will be a star-spangled holiday when you celebrate with these downtown Rochester businesses.

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Get to Know an Ambassador: Tom Claymon

In a few short weeks, people visiting, residing in, or working in downtown Rochester will start seeing our Clean Team Ambassadors (they'll be hard to miss in their bright orange shirts). Let's meet some of the friendly faces who are part of the Clean and Safe Ambassador Program being implemented starting July 1. Tom Claymon, the Clean and Safe Ambassador Program's operations manager, answers our five Get to Know an Ambassador questions.

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5 Ways to Extend Dining into Public Spaces

Before COVID-19 pushed Minnesota restaurants to quickly pivot to outdoor offerings, al fresco dining was already gaining popularity around the country. Take a look at these precedents from Minneapolis, Seattle, Boston, and elsewhere. 

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Father's Day Weekend from Downtown Rochester

Dad. Daddy. Papa. Pop. Pappy. No matter what name you have for him, he's your father and June 21 is a day to celebrate him. Here's a list of Father's Day gift specials from downtown Rochester!

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A Cleaner Downtown is More Important than Ever

During the COVID-19 pandemic, uncertainty of whether a doorknob is disinfected can cause anxious feelings. Cleaning and sanitation have become more important than ever. Our Clean Team Ambassadors will be here to create ease of mind by being a highly visible presence in downtown Rochester starting July 1. Let's hear from Jeff Heinrich with Block by Block, the national vendor selected for downtown Rochester's Clean and Safe Ambassador Program, why these programs are a vital and essential service.

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Make a Reservation at your Favorite Downtown Restaurant

Minnesota bars and restaurants are welcoming back patrons for outdoor dining. Guidance from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development requires reservations to be made in advance. When you're ready to dine downtown, here are bars and restaurants accepting outdoor dining reservations.

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Component of Downtown Rochester's Clean and Safe Ambassador Program to Launch July 1

Cleaning and sanitation are more important than ever in response to COVID-19. The cleaning component of Downtown Rochester, Minnesota’s Clean and Safe Ambassador Program is set to launch July 1, following the start date postponement of the full program earlier this spring because of COVID-19.

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Memorial Day Weekend in downtown Rochester

Memorial Day weekend is often considered the unofficial start to summer. Take a break from work and usher in this long weekend with these specials and activities from downtown Rochester.

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Announcing the Keep it Local Grant Recipients

Fifty-five local businesses are innovating and partnering with other local entities to propel themselves into a world beyond COVID-19. With gracious financial contributions from the City of Rochester and Destination Medical Center, the Keep it Local, COVID-19 Innovators Grant program distributed $100,000 among these businesses to collaborate on new technology or business models in response to COVID-19.

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Downtown Quarterly Stakeholder Update - May 2020

The Rochester Downtown Alliance went online to host its first virtual Downtown Quarterly Update May 13. Similar to the in-person format, these types of meetings are an opportunity to bring important messages about downtown development and resources to our stakeholders in a fast-paced and (hopefully) fun way. Hear from the people whose organizations and work impacts downtown every day in the video here.

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How to Create an At-Home Ergonomic Workspace

What a pain in the neck! No, we're not talking about a thing or a person but a literal pain caused by an improperly set-up at-home office. With so many people working remotely in response to COVID-19, hear from a professional for how to create an at-home ergonomic workspace.

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Mother's Day specials from downtown Rochester

Ma. Mum. Mommy. Madre. However you refer to her, let your mother know you're thinking of her, even if you can't be with her in person. Celebrate your mom with these Mother's Day specials from downtown Rochester.

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Community Spotlight on Olmsted County

May is Mental Health Awareness Month. It seems now more than ever with the COVID-19 pandemic, people may need mental health services. Thankfully, Olmsted County is fortunate to have resources available 24/7. Hear from Olmsted County Commissioner Stephanie Podulke why the county is well positioned locally and how Commissioner Podulke is impacting mental health services across greater Minnesota.

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5 Ways to Help Your Business through COVID-19

COVID-19 is an unprecedented time that has created a new way of doing business. To provide the most up to date information about your business, the Rochester Downtown Alliance staff has put together five ways to help your business through COVID-19.

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Community Spotlight on Big Bang Companies, Rochesterfest, and Olmsted County Fair

"What limited skill set do I have that I can use to help out my community?"
That's the question Brandon Helgeson of Big Bang Companies, the Olmsted County Free Fair, and Rochesterfest asked himself once COVID-19 started. Turns out, there's a lot of virtual programming he can offer to the Rochester community. Find out what keeps him staying positive in an uncertain time and how you can tune in to the virtual events.

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Safe Physical Distancing Activities in downtown Rochester

Minnesotans are staying closer to home to slow the spread of COVID-19. But "at home" does not need to mean "confined to your home," as the governor is encouraging people to get outdoors safely. Here are some safe physical distancing activities to enjoy in downtown Rochester.

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Community Spotlight on City Market

Inspiration can come from anywhere at any time. Find out how City Market in downtown Rochester became inspired by a California restaurant's meal program and how its adaptation is helping the local Rochester community.

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Community Spotlight on the Rochester Public Library

The Rochester Public Library in downtown Rochester is accustomed to being a gathering place for the community and staff are used to using resources to answer questions. Since the onset of COVID-19 closed the Library to the public, they've put their skills to use elsewhere. Find out from Audrey Betcher how the Rochester Public Library is operating as part of the City of Rochester's emergency operations center.

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Community Spotlight on Powers Ventures

What happened when restaurants and those in the food service industry had fresh goods as COVID-19 became a reality in our area? Hear how Joe Powers of Powers Ventures is partnering with Channel One Regional Food Bank and local restaurants to re-purpose the produce and food from restaurants and those in the food service industry.

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Community Spotlight on Mayo Civic Center

When you talk about collaboration, here is a great example of how Rochester area nonprofits, restaurants, and city government have come together to provide consistent service to those most in need. Hear from Rochester Mayor Kim Norton and Joe Ward of Experience Rochester and the Mayo Civic Center about this unique partnership in response to COVID-19.

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Community Spotlight on the Rochester Nonprofit Consortium

Thirty to 40 nonprofit organizations have united under one mission to serve the community in response to COVID-19. Learn from Brooke Carlson, the Rochester Nonprofit Consortium's strategist, how each organization is using its expertise and focus to collaborate to provide helpful and reliable information to the community.

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Community Spotlight on People's Food Co-op

"We are called to serve a community, and… it’s never been more concrete as it is now.”
People's Food Co-op is downtown Rochester's grocery store that is helping provide locally-produced goods for the community at large during COVID-19. General Manager Lizzy Haywood shares some beautiful thoughts for how the Co-op has innovated its services and is supporting each other and the community.

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Celebrate Easter with These Downtown Rochester Specials

Easter 2020 will be different from any previous year. To bring a little cheer, here are the egg-cellent ways to celebrate Easter and help support downtown Rochester businesses along the way.

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Community Spotlight on Pasquale's Neighborhood Pizzeria

Being able to adapt, especially in the restaurant business, is key. And Pasquale's Neighborhood Pizzeria in downtown Rochester has proven they can do just that while creating zero waste of food. Learn how Pasquale and his team have adjusted in response to COVID-19 and his special shout-out here.

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Community Spotlight on the Salvation Army

The Rochester Salvation Army staff is passionate about making others' lives better and that focus hasn't changed amid COVID-19. Major Lisa Mueller of the Salvation Army in downtown Rochester shares how the organization has tailored its services in response to the needs of the community during COVID-19.

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Community Spotlight on Yoga Tribe MN

Breathe in, breathe out. It sounds simple but taking time to breathe is important. Yoga and meditation can help you live in the moment and be grounded back to reality. Yoga Tribe MN owner Heather Ritenour-Sampson shares how a simple 30-minute virtual session can help alleviate stress and anxious feelings and help boost your outlook in this Community Spotlight feature.

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Community Spotlight on Victoria's Ristorante

Victoria's Ristorante in downtown Rochester, Minnesota is perpetuating the good during COVID-19. Owner Natalie Victoria shares how their free meals for kids has grown and expanded to other community members in need.

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Community Spotlight on Neon Green Studio

"Don't stop creating" is good advice during this time of COVID-19. And Neon Green Studio in downtown Rochester is bringing the art to you while you're at home. Find out the different ways to brighten your day through creativity as well as that of a family member, friend, or neighbor.

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Community Spotlight on Grand Rounds Brewing Company

Grand Rounds Brewing Company in downtown Rochester, Minnesota has opened its doors to school-age kids in need of meals during this time of COVID-19. Grand Rounds' founder, Tessa Leung, shares the reasons behind her persevering in response to COVID-19.

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Community Spotlight on the Roch Strong app

Collaborators at BrandHoot and Collider Coworking invented the Roch Strong to help support local businesses during COVID-19. Hear how the app was created in only two days and how these two organizations are further helping local non-profits and entrepreneurs.

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Community Spotlight on Rochester Area Economic Development

Introducing our Community Spotlight series, highlighting the uplifting and positive things happening in our downtown Rochester community. Local businesses, this one is for you: Rochester Area Economic Development, Inc. (RAEDI) will help you navigate the City of Rochester, MN's Emergency Economic Development Loan Program. RAEDI President Ryan Nolander also shares some positive thoughts while our community responds to COVID-19.

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Community Spotlight on Rochester Area Family YMCA

During this time of COVID-19, Rochester Area Family YMCA is rising above and putting into practice its organizational areas of focus: youth development, healthy living, and social responsibility. The Y is offering childcare for Tier 2 workers’ (essential and critical care workers) children for both infant through preschool and kindergarten through sixth grade. That means people who work in the food industry, utility workers (gas, electric), transportation, and childcare–all that is Tier 2. Executive Director Virginia Kaczmarek shares how this new system of support aligns with the Y's mission while being a departure from normal operations.

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Down for the Account: Get Taxes Done in Downtown Rochester

With COVID-19 affecting other aspects of life, Tax Day is no exception. On March 20, the U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin announced the April 15 filing deadline has been extended to July 15. (On March 17, the federal tax payment deadline was extended 90 days.) Don’t overtax your brain, wondering where to get that much-needed help. Set up appointments with any of the following businesses to account for your 2019 taxes.

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COVID-19 Support for Businesses and Organizations

Business information and resources relating to COVID-19. 

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How to Help the Downtown Rochester Community during COVID-19

Find ways to support the Rochester community, both downtown and throughout the city.

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Meet Rebecca with Poppi Italian Leather

Meet Rebecca with Poppi Italian Leather in downtown Rochester. Hard work and determination have gotten her to where she is today: a successful business owner. Read more about her journey and what she has learned throughout the years.

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At-Home Entertainment: A Virtual Concert and Happy Hour

Amid all the updates and announcements surrounding COVID-19, we need some good news. Well here it is: a new concert and happy hour series is coming your way virtually! Find out how you can tune in to a streamed "live" music performance, support a local bar or restaurant, and make an impact on the Rochester community as a whole.

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Meet Heather with Yoga Tribe

Meet Heather Ritenour-Sampson with Yoga Tribe MN in downtown Rochester. She became a small business owner "because I was tired of asking permission and waiting for change." If you can identify, Heather's story here is an inspiring read.

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Sharing the Best-Kept Secrets…To Lunch Meeting Menus

Organizing agendas and documents for work lunch meetings can be stressful. Planning the meeting's lunch doesn't have to be, not when so many downtown Rochester restaurants have prepped great lunch meeting menu options like these!

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Meet Beth with Pittsburgh Blue Steakhouse

Meet Beth Coons with Pittsburgh Blue Steakhouse in downtown Rochester. As general manager, Beth juggles a lot. How does she get it all done? Find out here as she explains the daily challenges, and rewards, of being a female entrepreneur.

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The Essential Guide to Downtown Rochester's Ladies' Night Out

Update as of March 12, 2020: For the safety and health of downtown business employees and attendees, the Rochester Downtown Alliance is postponing Ladies’ Night Out amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) concern. We make decisions like this with the utmost care and consider local, state, and national updates. We look forward to bringing you community events you love soon.

It's not just girls who wanna have fun: Ladies' Night Out March 26 presented by the Rochester Downtown Alliance is a good time for everyone! With more activities and experiences for every age and gender, plan your night out with this essential guide to the upcoming Ladies' Night Out in downtown Rochester.

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Meet Joan from Tangerine at Wildflowers

Meet Joan Blakley McCoy from Tangerine at Wildflowers in downtown Rochester, which is a fun and happy place because of businesses like hers. Find out what Joan's biggest reward is from being a small business owner.

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St. Patrick's Day in downtown Rochester

Top ‘o the mornin’ to ya! (We’re just a wee bit excited for St. Patrick’s Day in downtown Rochester.) We hope you are, too, for the pots of gold at the end of the rainbow (i.e. these St. Patrick's Day specials in downtown Rochester)!

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Meet Becca with The Loop

Meet Becca Greising with The Loop in downtown Rochester. Customer service is ingrained in Becca, who has been in the hospitality industry for eight years and watched her mom in it for 20. Find out what keeps her motivated.

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What's New for Ladies' Night Out 2020?

Update as of March 12, 2020: For the safety and health of downtown business employees and attendees, the Rochester Downtown Alliance is postponing Ladies’ Night Out amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) concern. We make decisions like this with the utmost care and consider local, state, and national updates. We look forward to bringing you community events you love soon.

Extra, extra: read all about investing in yourself and enjoying being with friends at Ladies' Night Out March 26 in downtown Rochester. Here are the newest Ladies' Night Out additions!

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The 29 Ladies' Night Out Participating Businesses

Update as of March 12, 2020: For the safety and health of downtown business employees and attendees, the Rochester Downtown Alliance is postponing Ladies’ Night Out amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) concern. We make decisions like this with the utmost care and consider local, state, and national updates. We look forward to bringing you community events you love soon.

Recharge in March with Ladies' Night Out March 26, whether that's through relaxation, empowerment, dining, or some retail therapy. These downtown Rochester businesses are ready to offer a fun time for all Ladies' Night Out attendees.

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Meet Anna with Pure Barre

Meet Anna Christian with Pure Barre in downtown Rochester. Her story is a must-read: from empowering others to taking time for herself! Find out about her journey from Pure Barre instructor to owner.

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Meet Kendra with Friends' of the Library Bookstore

Meet Kendra Ryan with Friends of the Library Bookstore in downtown Rochester. She is one of the many volunteers in the female-centric environment (63 of the 69 volunteers are women) at the bookstore.

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Sharing the Best-Kept Secrets…To Weekend Brunch & Bevies

Rise and shine, weekenders! Everyone needs a good start to the day, and it all begins with a good breakfast! Below are some of the best places for brunch and bevies you’ll find in downtown Rochester on a Saturday, Sunday or both days!

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Meet Ashley with Dooley's Pub

Meet Ashley McKittrick with Dooley's Pub & Restaurant in downtown Rochester. Having been with Dooley's since day one, she worked her way up to general manager from waitressing to bartending to management.

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Meet Mary Jo from Healing Touch Spa

Meet Mary Jo Majerus with Healing Touch Spa in downtown Rochester. She shares the journey to opening her own massage business and her story of being a woman in business.

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Which Movies in the Park Flick Will You Pick?

The Oscars may be over, but you can still have your say in the film world! Movies in the Park presented by Altra Federal Credit Union premieres June 13 in downtown Rochester. Be like Ebert and Roeper and critique these film choices; the viewer's choice will be shown during the 2020 season of Movies in the Park.

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Half of Rochester's Favorite Restaurants are Downtown

Way to pick 'em, Rochester! Half of the Rochester Magazine's Favorite Restaurant winners are those that can be found in downtown Rochester. Find out how your favorite restaurant stacked up in this list.

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Fill Out This Short SocialICE Survey to Win Prizes

It was so n-ICE of you to come to SocialICE 2020! As a token of our appreciation, fill out this short survey and you will be entered to win one of three $25 gift cards to a downtown Rochester business.

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Feelin' the Love for Valentine's Day in Downtown Rochester

Can you feel the love (in downtown Rochester) tonight? Show your special someone how much they mean to you and plan a romantic evening in downtown Rochester with these Valentine's Day-related specials, gifts, and events.

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Spin the SocialICE Drink Wheel of Choice

Step right up! Spin the wheel to find out which of these ice bar drinks you should try at SocialICE February 6-8!

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12 Hit Songs for 12th Annual SocialICE

SocialICE has been known for cranking out tunes since 2009. With 2020 being the 12th year, we decided to celebrate through music. Here are the 12 hit songs for the 12th annual SocialICE February 6-8!

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3 Contests at SocialICE 2020

How do photos, beards, and plaid go together? Participate in these three contests at SocialICE February 6-8 and you'll not only find out: it could get you a pay out! Get the specifics of the SocialICE contests here.

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The Coolest Guide to SocialICE FAM JAM

SocialICE FAM JAM is a cool time for families to celebrate winter in downtown Rochester! Warm up or cool down with the family-friendly fun from 1 to 4 p.m. February 8. With a sneak peek into the event, here's an insider's guide to attending SocialICE FAM JAM!

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Your Insider's Guide to SocialICE 2020

Get ready for three days of ice, fun, and themed cocktails at SocialICE—Rochester Minnesota’s Ice Bar February 6-8 in downtown Rochester! If you’ve never been or are a regular, you’ll appreciate this insider’s guide featuring highlights of SocialICE.

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Why You Should Attend the Downtown Event Pitch Night January 14

Applicants of the Rochester Downtown Alliance's Start-Up Event Grant will be pitching their event ideas January 14 and need your support in hopes of winning up to $3,000 in event grant funds.

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5 Themed Downtown Bars Participating in SocialICE

We Minnesotans are a hearty lot. Here in downtown Rochester, the same can be said for the following downtown bars testing their mettle during the cold-weather event, SocialICE—Rochester, Minnesota's Ice Bar February 6-8.

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Sharing the Best-Kept Secrets…To Trivia Nights

Question: where can you test your knowledge of useless information? Answer: downtown Rochester! Gather the gang and compete in a rousing round of trivia. Here are the best places for Trivia Nights in downtown Rochester!

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A Year of Events in Downtown Rochester

With the start of a new year comes new dates for some of downtown Rochester’s most popular events. Mark your calendar for these Rochester Downtown Alliance-hosted events.

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Where to Find Winter Clearance Sales in Downtown Rochester

The Midwest weather is frightful this time of year, so head indoors for a delightful shopping experience. Downtown Rochester stores welcome you in for these hot winter clearance deals January 15-19!

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A New Year in Downtown Rochester

Don't drop the ball on New Year's Eve plans, especially with so much going on in downtown Rochester! Ring in 2020 with these special events.

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Happy Holidays from Downtown Rochester

With snow falling and lights all aglow, downtown Rochester is the perfect setting for some holiday fun. Whether shopping or socializing, here are the holiday events and deals to be found in downtown Rochester!

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10 Most Asked-For Santa Presents and Where to Find Them in Downtown

Santa Claus had to hurry on his way November 29. But before he waved goodbye, he gave us a peek at the Here Comes Santa Claus kids’ letters. What were the top asked-for gifts? Find out here!

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Here Comes Santa Claus Survey

We hope Here Comes Santa Claus made it on downtown Rochester's nice list of events this year! To let Santa know what you liked about it, please fill out the following short survey.

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Pitch Your Idea for a Downtown Rochester Event

Planning events is no easy feat. As the producers of large events like SocialICE and Thursdays Downtown, we get it! That’s why we want to help new or existing event organizers secure event funding through our Start-Up Event Grant.

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A Kind "Here Comes Santa Claus" Partner: Altra Federal Credit Union

Oh, what fun it is to have Altra Federal Credit Union as the Here Comes Santa Claus presenting partner this year. Altra embodies the spirit of the season by their passion for giving back. Let's find out why Altra shows love to the Rochester community and what holiday tradition is a favorite of Danielle Anderson, Altra's youth program supervisor.

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All Nice List of Here Comes Santa Claus Activities

He's making a list, so you should check this blog twice! Click for all nice activities there are for Here Comes Santa Claus presented by Altra Federal Credit Union November 29.

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Sharing the Best-Kept Secrets…To The Top Happy Hours

Going out to celebrate some great news? Or need somewhere to unwind after a long day of work? Sip, sip, hooray, does downtown Rochester have plenty of happy hour hangouts! Plan a happy hour get-together with friends at some of the best in downtown Rochester!

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Santa Claus is Comin' to (down)Town Rochester

It's the most wonderful time of the year, and that can only mean one thing: Santa Claus is comin' to town! A favorite Rochester tradition is rescuing Santa from Old City Hall and the merriment that goes with this annual event. Here are the details of this year's beloved Here Comes Santa Claus event November 29!

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5 Questions with Holly, RDA executive director

By now, Holly Masek is no stranger to Rochester. Starting the position as executive director in June, Holly hit the ground running. Now, she's catching up for a little one-on-one insight into why she chose Rochester after growing up in the northeast. Let's hear more about her in her conversation here!

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This is Halloween in Downtown Rochester

Something creepy and kooky is brewing in downtown Rochester. Find all the mysterious and spooky things to do for Halloween in downtown Rochester here!

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Organically Yours: A Downtown Rochester Mural Collaboration

A new mural in downtown Rochester, created by local artists Leah Bee of Canvas & Chardonnay and Liz Forsman, will blend one artist’s style of colorful organic shapes with another’s line art.

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Your Fall Fest Feedback

Thank you for coming out to Fall Fest 2019 presented by Altra Federal Credit Union! October 6 turned out to be an unbe-leaf-ably beautiful autumn day! With all the fall-themed fun, we'd love to hear how you enjoyed the event if you attended. Fill out this short survey below.

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Join the RDA Team!

The Rochester Downtown Alliance's mighty team has room for another member! We're expanding our staff to include a positive, detail-oriented, organized administrative coordinator. Learn more here.

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Must-Eat Seasonal Treats at Fall Fest

Now that it’s officially fall, bring on seasonal treats, apple sweets, and pumpkin spice everything! Cozy warm beverages and hearty fall eats are delicious features of Fall Fest food vendors. Here are the must-eat seasonal treats all Fall Fest presented by Altra Federal Credit Union from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. October 5!

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Fall Fest Activities & Crafts

A little bit of harvest is coming to the heart of Downtown Rochester. For a “gourd” time, journey to Fall Fest presented by Altra Federal Credit Union from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. October 5 in Peace Plaza! Get the inside scoop about the Fall Fest activities and crafts here.

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Chill Out: Downtown Rochester’s SocialICE Set for 2020

SocialICE presented by the Rochester Downtown Alliance will return February 6-8, 2020 to transform Downtown Rochester into an icy oasis.

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Sneak Peek into Fall Fest

The trees are beginning to radiate bold hues of red, orange, and yellow. The fragrance of the air is shifting from freshly-mown grass to pumpkin-spiced everything. It's finally fall, the most glorious season of all! Fall Fest presented by the Rochester Downtown Alliance and Altra Federal Credit Union excites all the senses in a free, family-friendly event from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., October 5! For a sneak peek into the fall-themed fun, keep reading!

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    Altra Federal Credit Union is an A-Maize-ing Fall Fest Partner!

    The Rochester Downtown Alliance is grateful for its unbe-leaf-able Fall Fest presenting partner, Altra Federal Credit Union. Find out from Altra's community relations manager, Shawn Hauser, why Altra is looking forward to partnering on Fall Fest October 5 and what she would be for Halloween.

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    Movies in the Park September Preview: The Birds

    An ebony night descends on the autumn horizon. The faint flapping of wings can be heard, only to grow louder and louder, closer and closer. Fear not, though: these sounds will be contained to the screen during Movies in the Park presented by Premier Banks September 21. The last feature film of the season is the classic drama, The Birds. Here's a preview guide of what will keep you on the edge of your seat and what will get you of out of your seat!

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    Last Call for Thursdays Downtown 2019

    Times flies when you’re having fun at Thursdays Downtown! While it's a bummer there’s just one left, take advantage of what’s left of summer! If only for five minutes to up to five hours, here’s why you should come downtown for the last Thursday Downtown!

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    Thursdays Downtown Makes a Move in 2020

    With Peace Plaza under construction in 2020, where Thursdays Downtown will be next year is becoming clearer.

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    A Brief History of Thursdays Downtown

    Since July 2004, Thursdays Downtown (or a similar-named version of the event) has been a part of the downtown Rochester community. Now in its 15th season, the event has grown into a large music and arts festival that draws 20,000+ people every Thursday! Here’s a look at how the event started and the ways in which it’s grown over the years.

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    How to Spend a 3-Day Weekend in Downtown Rochester

    "Work, work all week long / Punchin' that clock from dusk 'till dawn"! Time to take a well-deserved break and enjoy the long, three-day weekend! Here are the top specials and events to celebrate Labor Day weekend in downtown Rochester!

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    A Runner-Up on The Voice Is Coming to Thursdays Downtown!

    He was a runner-up on the Emmy Award-winning TV series The Voice and he's coming to Thursdays Downtown August 29 in downtown Rochester!

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    Life as an Intern by Maxwell Haydon

    Downtown Rochester is so welcoming to all because of the sense of community and collaboration that goes into making downtown businesses thrive, and I’ve had the wonderful opportunity to work with this community firsthand. Find out why I've enjoyed my Rochester Downtown Alliance internship!

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    Shining a Light on People's Food Co-op, a 2019 Thursdays Downtown Partner

    Thursdays Downtown is a successful community event, in part, because of its community-driven partnerships. The Rochester Downtown Alliance (RDA) values People's Food Co-op and its support of Thursdays Downtown. In turn, we want to shine the spotlight on them! Let's learn a little more about the organization from Ann Mull, marketing director with People's Food Co-op!

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    Ferris Bueller Day in Downtown Rochester

    August 17 is dubbed Ferris Bueller Day in Downtown Rochester! In honor of the next Movies in the Park flick, play hooky with these fun things to do before or after attending Movies in the Park presented by Premier Banks.

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    Movies in the Park August Preview: Ferris Bueller

    "Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it." We couldn't agree more, which is why we encourage you to attend this month's Movies in the Park presented by Premier Banks! On Saturday, August 17, it's the showing of Ferris Bueller's Day Off, plus a variety of themed activities and food!

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    Shining a Light on Gwaltney Group, a 2019 Thursdays Downtown Partner

    The Gwaltney Group is just one of many community-minded partners that makes Thursdays Downtown successful! The Rochester Downtown Alliance (RDA) is appreciative of its partnership and wants to shine the spotlight on them! Let's learn a little more about the organization from Brian Ness, the Gwaltney Group's marketing coordinator!

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    Behind the Booth: Vendors' Favorite Thursdays Downtown Moments

    One of my favorite parts about my job is being out on Thursdays Downtown every week. Thursdays bring a new excitement and energy to the week. Every week, I get the chance to talk to our vendors and attendees amid a busy day onsite to get to know them. After seeing these vendors week after week, I get to hear their personal and event stories, memories, and experiences, and to get a sense of tight-knit community. Some vendors have been at this event for years and love to share their stories about what they have encountered. I decided to talk to a few of our vendors so their stories could be shared with the rest of our community.

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    Dogs Downtown Quiz: What Type of Dog are You?

    With more than 300 dog breeds (according to the World Canine Organization), what type are you? Find out with this quiz before Dogs Downtown August 3 in downtown Rochester, where you'll see a variety of breeds!

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    Paws-ing to Recognize Subaru of Rochester as Dogs Downtown Partner

    The Rochester Downtown Alliance has quite fetching Dogs Downtown partners, one of which is Subaru of Rochester! We're paws-ing to recognize them as our presenting partner and to learn more about the company from Jake Wessel, Subaru of Rochester's marketing director!

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    Shining a Light on WSU-R, a 2019 Thursdays Downtown Partner

    Winona State University Rochester is just one of many community-minded partners that makes Thursdays Downtown successful! The Rochester Downtown Alliance (RDA) is appreciative of its partnership and wants to shine the spotlight on them! Let's learn a little more about the organization from Kristi Ziegler, Community Services Coordinator.

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    A Summer of Purple in Downtown Rochester

    "Let's Go Crazy" leading up to Prince's former band The Revolution's Riverside Concert performance August 18! Grab your "Raspberry Beret," get in your "Little Red Corvette," and party like it's "1999" in downtown Rochester! Here are the Prince-inspired specials, events, and promotions to celebrate the Summer of Purple!

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    Shining a Light on the Epilepsy Foundation of Minnesota, a 2019 Thursdays Downtown Partner

    Without support from community-minded partners like the Epilepsy Foundation of Minnesota, Thursdays Downtown would not be as successful as it is! The Rochester Downtown Alliance is appreciative of its partnership and wants to shine the spotlight on them! 

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    Shining a Light on iHeart Media, a 2019 Thursdays Downtown Partner

    iHeart Media is just one of many community-minded partners that makes Thursdays Downtown successful! The Rochester Downtown Alliance (RDA) is appreciative of its partnership and wants to shine the spotlight on them! Let's learn a little more about the organization from Alicia Goodson, one of iHeart Media's account executives!

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    Ultimutt Guide to Dogs Downtown

    Bow-WOW: Dogs Downtown presented by the Rochester Downtown Alliance and Subaru of Rochester will be bustling with all things canine August 3! From activities to food to special guest appearances, here’s an Ultimutt Guide to the free event!

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    5 Q & As for Karli McElroy's 5-Year Work Anniversary

    Much can happen in five years. Karli McElroy, the Rochester Downtown Alliance's senior director of placemaking, is living proof that is true! In five years, she's done a variety of work at the RDA, and her incredible patience, tireless dedication, and inspiring talent have been instrumental along the way! Cheers for Karli McElroy as she celebrated her fifth work anniversary with the Rochester Downtown Alliance! To celebrate, Karli takes a trip down memory lane with Katie Adelman, the RDA's director of content and communications!

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    3 Food-Allergy-Friendly Eats at Thursdays Downtown

    Living with a food allergy or a dietary restriction doesn't mean depriving yourself of mouthwatering fare. Whether you have a sensitivity to gluten or dairy or you are a vegetarian, delicious options complementary to your dietary needs can be found at Thursdays Downtown!

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    Shining a Light on Northwest Dental Group, a 2019 Thursdays Downtown Partner

    Northwest Dental Group is proud to be one of the Thursdays Downtown First Avenue Stage Band Partners in 2019! The Rochester Downtown Alliance (RDA) is appreciative of its partnerships and wants to shine the spotlight on them! Let's learn a little more about the organization from Missy Weingarten, Northwest Dental Group's marketing coordinator!

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    Movies in the Park July Preview: Crazy Rich Asians

    No need to hop on a plane: your passport to fun is at Movies in the Park July 20 at Castle Community (note relocation because of storms/rain July 20) in downtown Rochester! The next flick in the lineup presented by Premier Banks is Crazy Rich Asians! Here's a high-class preview of the hilarious romantic comedy night!

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    Looking for Under 500 Calorie Foods at Thursdays Downtown?

    Health-conscious Thursdays Downtown attendees, rejoice! It may be a struggle to find wholesome yet satisfying foods at a fair or festival. But this Thursdays Downtown cuisine offers delectable selections at 500 calories or less!

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    We're "Yappy" to Announce Dogs Downtown 2019!

    We know who let the dogs out: it's going to be us at Rochester Downtown Alliance and our presenting partner Subaru of Rochester for Dogs Downtown 2019! On August 3, hundreds of pooches and their humans will head to Peace Plaza in downtown Rochester for these fun giveaways and activities!

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    Sidewalk Sale Seals the Deals in Downtown Rochester

    Money money money money, money! That's what you'll save when you shop the downtown Rochester Sidewalk Sale July 15-21! Check out the hot deals from this year's participating downtown Rochester businesses, and find some of the following retailers onsite at Thursdays Downtown July 18, too!

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    9 Things to Do Other Than Thursdays Downtown for July 4th

    With Thursdays Downtown on a one-week break in celebration of the Fourth of July, holiday plans may have you wondering what to do with a free Thursday. No need to worry: We have you covered with this list of nine other fun things to do in downtown Rochester!

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    Shining a Light on Townsquare Media, a 2019 Thursdays Downtown Partner

    Without support from community-minded partners like the Townsquare Media, Thursdays Downtown would not be as successful as it is! The Rochester Downtown Alliance (RDA) is appreciative of its partnership and wants to shine the spotlight on them! Let's learn a little more about the organization from Troy Dunken, Townsquare Media's assistant operations manager and one of KROC's on-air morning personality!

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    Celebrate Fourth of July in Downtown Rochester

    Like fireworks illuminate the night sky, light up your Fourth of July with plans for fun in downtown Rochester! Between the red-hot deals and the tried-and-blue events, your Independence Day weekend will be a patriotic one! Here's the list of everything July 4th-related in downtown Rochester!

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    Thursdays Downtown Artisan Vendors

    "Something for everyone" is not a cliché when it comes to the Thursdays Downtown vendors! With more than 450 different vendors throughout the 12 market dates, you'll be hard pressed to find a booth that won't catch your eye! To help you narrow down your search, below is a digestible list divided into categories! Happy browsing!

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    5 Questions with Monika, the new RDA events manager

    The Rochester Downtown Alliance is excited to announce Monika Kopet as the new events manager! Let's hear more about her in her conversation below!

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    New Food & Drinks at 2019 Thursdays Downtown

    What's on the menu? Along with your favorites, partake in some fresh culinary creations at Thursdays Downtown. So go on: be adventurous and try something new! Here are the most recent eat-and-drink additions to Thursdays Downtown this year!

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    Shining a Light on the Mayo Clinic Blood Donor Program, a 2019 Thursdays Downtown Partner

    The Mayo Clinic Blood Donor Program is just one of many community-minded partners that makes Thursdays Downtown successful! The Rochester Downtown Alliance (RDA) is appreciative of its partnership and wants to shine the spotlight on them! Let's learn a little more about the organization from Katy Maeder, Mayo Clinic Blood Donor Program's marketing and recruitment coordinator!

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    Life as an Intern by Teagan Holmes

    Fresh out of high school, I didn't want to spend my summer after senior year working just any part-time job or laying on the couch watching TV all day. I decided to see what options there were for some summer experiences, and here's why I chose the Rochester Downtown Alliance internship!

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    Shining a Light on Kraus-Anderson, a 2019 Thursdays Downtown Partner

    Kraus-Anderson Construction Company is just one of many community-minded partners that makes Thursdays Downtown successful! The Rochester Downtown Alliance (RDA) is appreciative of its partnership and wants to shine the spotlight on them!

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    Movies in the Park June Preview: Harry Potter

    Be spellbound by Harry Potter & The Sorcerer’s Stone as the first film of the 2019 Movies in the Park season! Muggles and wizards alike are welcome to this free, family-friendly movie June 15.

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    Shining a Light on Bremer Bank, a 2019 Thursdays Downtown Partner

    To make Thursdays Downtown a successful community event, the Rochester Downtown Alliance (RDA) is appreciative of its partnerships like the one with Bremer Bank and wants to shine the spotlight on them! Let's learn a little more about the organization from Jody Chambers, Bremer Bank's SVP, private banking team lead!

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    Shining a Light on ABC 6 News, a 2019 Thursdays Downtown Partner

    Thursdays Downtown is a successful community event, in part, because of its community-driven partnerships. The Rochester Downtown Alliance (RDA) values ABC 6 News and its support of Thursdays Downtown. In turn, we want to shine the spotlight on them! Let's learn a little more about the organization from Carissa Drake, ABC 6 News' marketing outreach specialist!

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    Your Insider's Guide to 2019 Thursdays Downtown

    After the winter we’ve endured, Thursdays Downtown provides the fun in the sun we’ve all earned! It’s time to head to downtown Rochester for arts, crafts, music, and food! Everyone at the Rochester Downtown Alliance, our partners, and vendors are gearing up for the first Thursdays Downtown! Here’s a look at everything you need to know to get your Thursdays Downtown attendance-planning into gear, too!

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    Movies in the Park, a Feature Presentation in Downtown Rochester

    With the premiere of Movies in the Park, presented by the Rochester Downtown Alliance and Premier Bank Rochester, summer nights are about to get a lot more fun! Save the following dates for Movies in the Park 2019!

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    A Visitor’s Guide: Where to Stay and What to Do in Downtown Rochester

    To see, to stay or to do; that is the question. In downtown Rochester, you can do it all! Whether you’re here for a day or a week, there’s no shortage of things to experience. Check-in to any of downtown Rochester’s fine hotels for a welcomed stay with plenty to do during waking hours. Below you will find a complete guide for visiting downtown Rochester!

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    Shining a Light on Altra Federal Credit Union, a 2019 Thursdays Downtown Partner

    Thursdays Downtown is a successful community event, in part, because of its community-driven partnerships. The Rochester Downtown Alliance (RDA) values Altra Federal Credit Union and its support of Thursdays Downtown. In turn, we want to shine the spotlight on them! Let's learn a little more about the organization from Shawn Hauser, Altra Federal Credit Union's community relations manager!

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    Thursdays Downtown 2019 Lunchtime Entertainment

    There’s no better lunch hour than grabbing a delicious bite, finding a comfy spot outdoors and listening to a variety of music all summer-long at Thursdays Downtown!

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    Explore Your Backyard Like a Pro

    No matter how long you’ve been a resident—be it a year or 50—you probably feel like you know downtown Rochester like the back of your hand! As Rochester continues to grow in vitality, so will its opportunities. We always encourage you to find more to explore! Start with the following See, Stay, and Do guides to downtown Rochester!

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    Shining a Light on RST, a 2019 Thursdays Downtown Partner

    To make Thursdays Downtown a successful community event, the Rochester Downtown Alliance (RDA) is appreciative of its partnerships like the one with Rochester International Airport (RST) and wants to shine the spotlight on them!

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    A Whole New Look for Thursdays Downtown

    By now, you may have seen or heard Thursdays on First is no more. Fear not, though: the event simply went through a refresh in branding!

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    A New Lease on Life with a Downtown Rochester Apartment

    As Dorothy in "The Wizard of Oz" said, “There’s no place like home.” Downtown Rochester, Minnesota could be your next home sweet home! With many conveniences right outside your door in downtown Rochester (every service imaginable, you’re minutes away from where you need/want to be, entertainment options abound, etc.), it’s all about location, location, location! Find a new place to call home; have a look at the following Downtown Rochester rentals!

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    Sharing the Best-Kept Secrets…To The Best Housewarming Gifts

    So, you need a housewarming gift. Where do you start to look? Luckily, downtown Rochester has many stores with a variety of offerings to suit your giftee’s style! From a vibrant print for their walls to a fragrant floral arrangement, these are the places in downtown Rochester to find the best housewarming gifts!

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    Thursdays Downtown 2019 Evening Entertainment

    The countdown to the long-awaited Thursdays Downtown is on, with less than a month to go! Presented in partnership with Bremer Bank and Rochester International Airport, the Rochester Downtown Alliance is excited to present this year’s Thursdays Downtown evening entertainment lineup!

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    Mother's Day Weekend in Downtown Rochester

    Moms are a special type of person. Celebrate who she is by planning a Mother’s Day she’ll always remember. Here are a few event and gift ideas in downtown Rochester!

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    Don’t Miss Out! A Year of Downtown Rochester Events

    How does the common saying go: “So much time and so little to do”? Strike that and reverse it! In downtown Rochester, there is plenty to do and we’ll help you with the time factor, too! Here is a list of Rochester events worth traveling for in every season and year-round! Find more Events in downtown Rochester while attending the following!

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    6 Accommodations for Your Visit to Downtown Rochester

    “Are you here for business or personal?” It’s a question likely to be heard when booking a hotel room. Whichever is the case, your stay in downtown Rochester will be a pleasurable one! Many thoughtful amenities inside the hotel itself and even more within walking distance await you for however long you are staying with us in downtown Rochester. Discover the possibilities for accommodations in downtown Rochester below!

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    The Ultimate Find & Seek Activity in Downtown Rochester

    The Downtown Rochester Architectural Scavenger Hunt is a thrilling search for hidden historic structural gems in downtown Rochester. Identify all the architectural photos correctly between May 1 and May 21 and be entered to win prizes!

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    What to Do in Downtown Rochester in Your Free Time

    Welcome to downtown Rochester, Minnesota! Whether you are visiting for the first time or are a life-long resident, here you will find plenty of places to go in your spare time. Within a 44-block district, downtown Rochester has everything from arts and culture to live action to quiet nature. Find your free-time fit with the following See & Do ideas in downtown Rochester!

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    Hippity Hoppity to Downtown Rochester for Easter Specials!

    From special events, food offerings, and much more fun, there is a lot to be egg-cited about for Easter in downtown Rochester! So hop to it, peeps!

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    Put in a little heART-work to Downtown

    Local Artists Featured Above (Left to Right): Layne Noser, Bailey Bryans Quam, and Cassandra Buck

    An artist pours their heART and soul into his or her work. Countless hardworking hours are spent transforming an idea into reality. The Rochester Downtown Alliance (RDA) is expanding its community public art program, ARTWalk, to incorporate local artists’ labors on doors in the alley between 3rd and 4th Street Southwest. Become pART of a larger 3rd Street Alley Project plan to incorporating special elements like art into Downtown Rochester. The time to submit art is fleeting: the call for art entries ends Sunday, March 31.

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    Calling All Artists: When a Door Becomes a Canvas

    Local Artists Featured Above (Left to Right): Brea Gilchrist, Chad Allen, and Fox and Swan Arts

    Did you know the month of March is National Craft Month? Whether it’s through a variety of mediums—be it painting, woodworking, or fiber art—the possibilities for crafting are innumerable. It seems the types of canvases are endless, too! The 3rd Street Alley Project is an opportunity for both artists and crafters to submit their works of art to be featured on 3rd Street Alley doors. It’s one of many plans to incorporate creative placemaking, like hanging lights and improving facades, in the alley between 3rd and 4th Street Southwest.

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    Let's Start With Art

    Local Artists Featured Above (Left to Right): Luke Austin, Cassandra Buck, and Aaron Druliner

    The 3rd Street Alley Project is one of the biggest and most exciting projects taken on by the Rochester Downtown Alliance (RDA) since our formation in 2005. The 3rd Street Alley lies between 3rd and 4th Street Southwest and improvements will include hanging lights, repurposing alley doors with art, murals, and working with businesses on facade improvements.

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    5 questions with Katie, the newest RDA staff member

    The Rochester Downtown Alliance is excited to announce Katie Adelman as the new director of content and communications! While not originally from the area, Katie is all too familiar with Rochester. But we’ll let her tell you more in her conversation below!

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    Get Lucky in Downtown Rochester

    Celebrate St. Patrick's Day in Downtown Rochester. Get festive with your green and show us how you shamrock! Great businesses are providing you with plenty of opportunities to celebrate, find all the details here!

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    Insider's Guide to Ladies Night Out

    Let’s get this party started! Join hundreds of your new best friends Downtown this Thursday, March 7, for Ladies Night Out. Starting at 5pm, Ladies Night Out brings women together for a night of shopping, dining, and giveaways!

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    Calling All Artists: “We Heart Local Art”

    Local Artists Featured Above (Left to Right): Eric Anderson, Tamsin Barlow, and Cassandra Buck

    With the upcoming 3rd Street Alley Project, the Rochester Downtown Alliance (RDA) is excited to announce the expansion of ARTWalk. Our process begins with a call for local and regional artists to submit photos of new or existing works of art, in any medium, for possible use in murals, alley doors, or other arts-based placemaking projects in Downtown.

     

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    Treat Yourself to a Night Out

    Get yourself ready for Ladies Night Out with a well-deserved spa day! Before the big day on March 7, enjoy one of several salons and spas found right in the heart of Downtown Rochester. From facials to massages build your perfect day of relaxing and pampering by checking out one of Downtown’s businesses below.

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    Shop Downtown Styles at Ladies Night Out

    In less than two weeks head Downtown for an unforgettable night out! Ladies Night Out returns to Downtown Rochester on March 7 from 5-9pm. Grab your girl gang or mingle with locals as you enjoy Downtown’s finest shops, dining, and drinks.

    Start the night off at Shops at University Square for our Kick-Off event featuring a gift card bingo emceed by Julie Jones. Then hop on the complementary ‘Shop Around’ shuttle service courtesy of Mercedes-Benz of Rochester to get around in style from 5:30pm-9:30pm! Weather won't affect your night out - you'll be able to make it to all of your must-see stops! Grab your punch cards and hit the sales; you’ll receive one punch for every $10 you spend which can be used to enter our raffle at the brand new After Party.

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    We want your feedback for SocialICE and FAM JAM

    SocialICE returned to the Peace Plaza on February 7, 8 & 9 for an event that was a perfect example of a Minnesota winter. We started the weekend with a snowstorm, went into freezing temperatures on the second night, but ended with perfect temps! Although the weather was a bit all over the place, Rochester residents were right in the heart of Downtown.

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    Looking for a Ladies Night Out?

    SocialICE may be over, but the fun doesn’t end there. Rally your girls for a night on the town with Ladies Night Out. New and improved for 2019, get ready for a night of giveaways, specials, and plenty of pampering. Head to Downtown Rochester on March 7 starting at 5PM for an unforgettable night.

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    Valentine's Day in Downtown Rochester

    Calling all sweethearts, friends (hello, Galentine's Day), or really just anyone that likes good food and great gifts! Have you made your Valentine's Day plans? If not, no need to worry, we have complied a list of great specials and offers happening in Downtown Rochester. From delicious dinners to perfectly wrapped gifts, there is sure to be something to keep you on the good list.

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    #SocialICE Photo Contest and Hat Sale

    Have you been following us on Instagram? If so, you probably saw that we just released our new Downtown branded hats...

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    Insider's Guide to SocialICE FAM JAM

    We are one week away from our brand new event SocialICE FAM JAM and we can’t wait for you to experience it! SocialICE FAM JAM will be happening on February 9 from 1PM-4PM on the Peace Plaza. Gather your friends and family and get ready for a day of arctic adventure.

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    Insider's Guide to SocialICE 2019

    It’s almost February, which means something big in Downtown Rochester is on its way- SocialICE! Join 50,000 of your closest friends and head to the Peace Plaza February 7, 8, & 9 for an icy experience fit for true Minnesotans. This year, we have seven uniquely themed ice bars serving signature drinks while nightly DJs and activities help to keep you on your toes. To view the participating bars and restaurants and their unique themes, click here

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    Ice Bars Bring Activities to SocialICE FAM JAM

    SocialICE FAM JAM is bringing the cool vibes of SocialICE to the day time with a lineup of family-friendly activities and entertainment. One of these specialties is that several of our participating ice bars will be offering kiddy versions of their SocialICE signature drinks as well as themed activities.

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    Save the Date with your Girl Gang for Ladies Night Out

    Grab your girl gang and get ready to treat yourself! Downtown Rochester’s Ladies Night Out is returning on March 7 from 5PM-9PM. The Rochester Downtown Alliance is helping to put together a night of wining and dining, shopping, and more. This is the perfect excuse to get the girls together and checkout some of Downtown’s best shops and restaurants. Let the pampering begin!

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    8 Reasons to Attend SocialICE

    SocialICE 2019 is on it’s way and this year we’re pulling out all the stops! From a giant igloo to all-new ice bar themes and LIVE painting on 1st Avenue, this year is bigger and better than ever. Need more convincing? We have listed our top eight reasons why we think you should attend...

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    Shops at University Square Specials // Winter Clearance Edition

    The Winter Clearance Sale begins tomorrow January 16 and runs through Sunday, January 20. Many Rochester retailers will be hosting sales across the Downtown landscape. Last week we focused on the Kahler Grand Shops, so now it’s time to head over to The Shops at University Square and see what sales they’re stirring up.

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    SocialICE May Be Cold, But Our Partners Bring The Heat

    SocialICE wouldn't be possible without our great community partners that make it come to life. By injecting their own brand of creativity into ice sculptures and providing all-new experiences (or both!), our many partners are setting you up for the ultimate winter weekend. We hear they're as excited as you are! Let's get to know who's making SocialICE happen.

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    Find Arctic Activities at SocialICE FAM JAM

    Take a trip into a real life snow globe when you visit SocialICE FAM JAM! You’ll see the coolest elements of SocialICE, but during the day, such as our life-sized ice sculptures and giant SocialICE letters; word on the street is that they make the best selfie spots! SocialICE FAM JAM will be held on February 9 from 1PM-4PM on the Peace Plaza. This brand new event will be the perfect opportunity to bring the whole family out & about to enjoy everything SocialICE has to offer.

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    The Grand Shops of Kahler Specials // Winter Clearance Edition

    Downtown Rochester hosts over 60 retailers to help you find the perfect items you’re shopping for. As the Winter Clearance Sale approaches, we want to highlight our two Downtown shopping centers. First up, the Kahler Grand Shops! The businesses listed below are offering unbeatable deals January 16-20 during the Winter Clearance Sale, so save the date and start saving up the cash.

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    Brand New Activities Add to the SocialICE Atmosphere

    It may be cold outside, but the good times and great memories bring warmth to SocialICE. We want to help you make those special memories by creating the best night ever. On February 7, 8, & 9, the Rochester Downtown Alliance (along with our awesome partners) is throwing the biggest winter whiteout in town. Join us Downtown and look below to get a glimpse of what SocialICE 2019 has to offer.

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    Cool Fun to Come at the First-Ever SocialICE FAM JAM

    If you didn’t think SocialICE could get any better, think again! We are excited to introduce SocialICE FAM JAM, a brand new event set to bring the community together to positively embrace our wintry months. SocialICE FAM JAM will be on Saturday, February 9, before SocialICE, from 1PM–4PM on the Peace Plaza. Use this as the perfect time to check out the sculptures, engage with Downtown businesses, and enjoy SocialICE with the whole family.

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    Pop By on Popcorn Day

    Pop by on National Popcorn Day! The Rochester Downtown Alliance is celebrating National Popcorn day early this year by handing out complimentary popcorn bags at select Downtown Rochester locations on Friday, January 18 from 11AM-1PM. Can't wait? Let's sneak a peek at these crazy flavors you might find on the shelves. 

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    5 Reasons to Shop the Winter Clearance Sale

    5 Reasons to Shop the Winter Clearance Sale

    Well, the holiday season is coming to an end. We don’t know about you, but after a few work parties, entertaining kids home on winter break, and making sure there are enough baked cookies for both sides of the family, we’re in need of some retail therapy! Thankfully, the Winter Clearance Sale is happening Downtown January 16-20 to help out. While you don’t always need a reason to shop, the Winter Clearance Sale gives you the perfect excuse to! Here are our top five reasons to head Downtown and hit the sales.

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    A New Year brings New Themes at SocialICE 2019

    SocialICE is the outdoor bar experience fit for true fans of the bold north. Mark your calendars and get excited by checking out this year’s participating bars and their unique themes arriving on February 7, 8, & 9.

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    Toast the Town on New Year's Eve!

    Before we can start writing our New Year’s resolutions, we need to celebrate 2018 and all of the memorable moments it brought. Grab some champagne, put on your dancing shoes, and toast to another fabulous year; you deserve it! There’s no need to leave town on December 31 as many of Downtown Rochester’s best spots are hosting various New Year’s Eve specials and events.

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    #MyDowntownRochMN featuring The Tap House

    In Sam and Ariel's #MyDowntownRochMN they both mentioned how much they enjoy The Tap House, especially for "date nights", live music, along with a variety of food and drink options. So we only thought it was appropriate to head over to The Tap House and grab an interview with the two powerhouse women behind it all. Below is their story and how The Tap House came to be, enjoy! 

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    #MyDowntownRochMN with Sam & Ariel Jensch

    In our last #MyDowntownRochMN we had the opportunity to hear from Sheryl, a Rochester native that moved around until she found her way back to her home town. This week we get to hear from country music lovers and nontraditional High School sweethearts who share their love for a good company, food, and drinks. This is their #MyDowntownRochMN story:

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    #MyDowntownRochMN with Sheryl Willms

    In our last #MyDowntownRochMN with had the opportunity to hear from one of Rochester's youngest and his dad about all the family friendly things they do together Downtown. This week we are speaking with Sheryl Willms, a Rochester native who boomeranged back to Rochester in 2013 from Wisconsin. She shares her love for events, shopping, eating, and of course socializing with friends; below is her #MyDowntownRochMN story. 

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    #MyDowntownRochMN featuring Poppi Italian Leather

    In Sheryl's #MyDowntownRochMN she shared that both her and her daughter share a love for shopping, particularly handbags and shoes! When asked where they like to shop, Poppi's was the top of their list for their unique pieces, along with the exceptional quality. So we decided it was time to catch up with Rebecca, owner of Poppi Italian Leather to get her take on holiday shopping, fashion trends, and much more! 

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    Restaurant Week

    Grab your fork and get ready to eat your way through some of the amazing restaurants located in Downtown Rochester for FEAST! Restaurant Week. Eleven Downtown restaurants are working to promote foods from the region and to support local farms in preparation for this years FEAST! Local Foods Marketplace happening on December 1st from 10AM to 4PM at the Rochester Mayo Civic Center.

    Restaurant week will take place from Monday, November 26th to Saturday, December 1st. Participating restaurants will offer food specials crafted using products from the growers and food makers, plus customers who order these specials will receive a $10 off voucher for an alcohol sampling wristband, regularly priced at $25 (more info here) for FEAST!. Without further ado, lets talk about the great participating businesses:

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    #MyDowntownRochMN with Logan and Declan

    In our last #MyDowntownRochMN we had the opportunity to learn from Rashid and how he uses the skyways and subways to avoid the cold winters. This week we are getting to hear from one of Downtown Rochester's youngest and his Dad on the family friendly scene Downtown has to offer. They share their favorite eats, treats, and more! 

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    Guide to Here Comes Santa Claus

    Silent night… yeah, right! Downtown Rochester will be anything but silent on November 23 as we celebrate the start of the holiday season at Here Comes Santa Claus. The beloved tradition is back for its 44th year and it wouldn’t be possible without our activities partner, Olmsted Medical Center, our warming house partner, Castle Community, or our event partner, Shops at University Square. Running from 4-8PM, Here Comes Santa Claus has a multitude of activities to keep everyone filled with cheer.

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    #MyDowntownRochMN featuring International Spice & Grocery

    In Rashid's #MyDowntownRochMN story he shared how much he enjoys interacting with the owner of International Spice Grocery Store, along with their convenient Downtown location. So we decided to sit down with Anwar Haq, owner and self proclaimed "cashier" of the International Spice and Grocery Store to hear his story and why he enjoys operating in Downtown Rochester. 

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    Ring in the Holiday Season with Here Comes Santa Claus

    The holiday season is almost upon us and what better way to celebrate than with a beloved tradition in Downtown Rochester. Here Comes Santa Claus is celebrating its 44th Anniversary on Friday, November 23 in Downtown Rochester, and the holiday spirit will be bigger and brighter than ever. Our warming house partner, Castle Community, events partner, Shops at University Square, and our activities partner, Olmsted Medical Center, have helped us to create a day of festivity for Rochester residents and visitors of all ages.

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    #MyDowntownRochMN featuring the Mayo Civic Center

    In Misun's #MyDowntownRochMN story she shared the many memories she has had at the Mayo Civic Center with her family and how much she enjoys attending events there. So we took the time to sit down with the Managing Director, Andy Krogstad and Marketing Manager, Erin Okins to get the inside scoop on upcoming events, day to day operations and more. 

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    #MyDowntownRochMN featuring Tangerine

    In Tim Hawkin’s #MyDowntownRochMN interview he shared how Tangerine is one of his Downtown ‘go-to’s’ for shopping, so we decided to sit down with Joan Blakely McCoy, the owner of Tangerine, to learn more about her store.

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    #MyDowntownRochMN with Tim Hawkins

    Our last feature of the #MyDowntownRochMN Campaign was with Amita Patel who shared how much she loves everything about Downtown. This time around we are chatting with Tim Hawkins to learn what makes his time spent Downtown so unique. 

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    #MyDowntownRochMN featuring The Rochester Trolley & Tour Company

    In Amita's #MyDowntownRochMN blog, we learned about her perfect day, which included a trolley tour of the city of Rochester. We decided to catch up with, Dan Butterfass, the owner of the Rochester Trolley & Tour Company to learn his story along with the trolley and tour options that are available. 

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    Movies in the Park with Premier Bank Rochester

    While helping to build communities, Premier Bank Rochester promotes volunteerism, a diverse work force, environmental initiatives, and giving. These values are the why behind Premier's partnership with the Rochester Downtown Alliance (RDA). With their support, the RDA was able to substantially enhance activities and increase stakeholder engagement, thereby making Downtown a more vibrant gathering place. We are proud to introduce our 2018 Movies in the Park Presenting Partner, Premier Bank Rochester.

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    Movies in the Park: Snuggle Up for Save Haven

    Movies in the Park is a four-part outdoor movie experience presented by the Rochester Downtown Alliance and Premier Bank Rochester featuring activities, film-inspired food and drink, and a movie nestled in string-lit Historic Central Park. This time, it's "Date Night" inspired by the romantic favorite, Safe Haven. Play, dine, and watch a movie under the stars with us!

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    #MyDowntownRochMN featuring Pasquale's Neighborhood Pizzeria

    In Lisha Leonard’s #MyDowntownRochMN blog, we learned about her favorite vegetarian and vegan spots Downtown. When she shared about Pasquale’s vegan cheese option, we knew we had to sit down with owner and chef, Pasquale Presa, to learn more!

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    #MyDowntownRochMN featuring the parks of Downtown Rochester

    Downtown Rochester holds an abundance of businesses, restaurants and shops which serve visitors and residents alike. However, sometimes the best form of entertainment is relaxation. Downtown is home to four major parks that double as event spaces and a great way to sit back and enjoy the scenery. Downtown police officer, Craig Jacobson, shares about his job working in the parks, as well as how he spends his time there off-duty. We’re here to give you a run-down of Downtown’s parks and how each one offers a unique touch.

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    Thursdays on First & 3rd Partner Series with the Mayo Clinic Blood Donor Center

    The Mayo Clinic Blood Donor Center is a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting the patients of Mayo Clinic. All blood donations collected stay in-house and are used for our patients in the Olmsted County community. During Thursdays on First & 3rd, the Mayo Clinic Blood Donor Center is hoping to make connections with future donors. Just one donation can help save multiple lives.

    Thursdays on First & 3rd would not be possible without the support of businesses in the Rochester community. Thanks to the Mayo Clinic Blood Donor Center and our numerous other partners, we bring musicians, artists, craftspeople, and restaurateurs together, uniting residents and visitors alike.

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    Thursdays on First & 3rd: Last Chance

    It's hard to believe summer is nearly behind us and the Thursdays on First & 3rd season is coming to a close. Be sure to make it Downtown on Thursday August 30 to end the summer with a day of food, friends, and fun.

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    Movies in the Park: Brighten Up Your Night with Coco

    Movies in the Park is a four-part outdoor movie experience presented by the Rochester Downtown Alliance and Premier Bank Rochester featuring activities, film-inspired food and drink, and a movie nestled in string-lit Historic Central Park. This time, we will feature a night inspired by the award-winning favorite, Coco. Play, dine, and watch a movie under the stars with us!

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    Your Dogs Downtown Insider's Guide

    Dogs Downtown, presented by the Rochester Downtown Alliance and Subaru of Rochester, is just two days away and everyone’s tails are wagging in anticipation! We’ve got all paws on deck making sure this year is the best one yet, so make sure to stop down on the Peace Plaza, this Saturday, August 4th for a day worth barking about. Read on for a sneak peek of what you can find at this year’s event.

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    Let the Dogs Out for Yappy Hour

    Let the fur fly August 4th* and beyond at Dogs Downtown’s Yappy Hour. After you and your pup play at Dogs Downtown, 11am-3pm, head to one of Downtown Rochester’s participating bars for a ‘Yappy Hour’!

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    #MyDowntownRochMN featuring Potbelly Sandwich Shop

    In Danae Gaio’s #MyDowntownRochMN interview she talked about how she loves going to Potbelly Sandwich Shop for a quick bite to eat with her daughter, Jayme, because of how close it is from her work. I chatted with Kirk, the General Manager of Potbelly Downtown, to find out more about their business.

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    #MyDowntownRochMN with Danae Gaio

    Our latest featured shared the story of high school sweethearts John and Sandy MacLaughlin. This week we caught up with Danae who enjoys the convenient location of her job and the proximity to the great food options, steps from her desk. 

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    Q&A: Locals & Landmarks

    Q&A: Locals & Landmarks

    As featured in the June issue of the Downtown Rochester Newsletter, we asked Rochester native, videographer extraordinaire, and new co-owner of Downtown Rochester art studio Canvas & Chardonnay, Tyler Aug, to tell us about his favorite Downtown landmark.

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    What Dog Would You Be?

    Subaru of Rochester (Subaru) has been a part of the Rochester community since 1986. Since then they’ve proven to be active community members— and furry-friend lovers. “There are always dogs on leashes in our show room and on the lot trying out our vehicles, and we even have a dog park to let them run around!” For the last couple of years, Subaru has played a huge part in making Dogs Downtown possible. This year, we got to know their organization better, and found out which dogs their staff members wanted to be!

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    Thursdays on First & 3rd Partner Series with Townsquare Media

    Townsquare Media is Rochester’s home for great music. You might know them better as 106.9 KROC, Quick Country 96.5, Y-105FM, or Z-Rock 107.7, or 103.9 The Doc. Regardless, we’re sure you’ve tuned in to one of their many stations. Townsquare Media loves meeting new people at Thursdays on First & 3rd where each week brings different experiences.

    Thursdays on First & 3rd would not be possible without the support of businesses in the Rochester community. Thanks to Townsquare Media and our numerous other partners we bring musicians, artists, craftspeople, and restaurateurs together, uniting residents and visitors alike.

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    Thursdays on First & 3rd Partner Series with Rochester International Airport

    The Rochester International Airport (RST) has been serving the Rochester community since 1928. Today, they accommodate approximately 290,000 passengers annually, providing easy travel from home. During Thursdays on First & 3rd, RST is the Presenting Peace Plaza Stage Partner which hosts three live performances every Thursday afternoon and evening. By attending the event weekly, they interact with many individuals and help to answer questions and share exciting news about changes at RST.

    Thursdays on First & 3rd would not be possible without the support of businesses in the Rochester community. Thanks to the Rochester International Airport and our numerous other partners, we bring musicians, artists, craftspeople, and restaurateurs together, uniting residents and visitors alike.

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    Movies in the Park: Get in the Game with Jumanji

    Movies in the Park is a four-part outdoor movie experience presented by the Rochester Downtown Alliance and Premier Bank Rochester featuring activities, film-inspired food and drink, and a movie nestled in string-lit Historic Central Park. This time, we will feature a night inspired by the reimagined hit, Jumanji. Play, dine, and watch a movie under the stars with us! 

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    #MyDowntownRochMN featuring Blue Sky Dental

    While the average dentist may not offer a paraffin wax or a massage chair during your routine checkup, Blue Sky Dental is not your average dentist office! During John and Sandy MacLaughlin’s #MyDowntownRochMN interview, Sandy commented on how terrific she feels after her appointments at Blue Sky Dental. We talked with Dr. SonjaMae, owner of Blue Sky Dental, to find out what makes them an above average dental clinic.

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    #MyDowntownRochMN with John and Sandy MacLaughlin

    Our last feature was on Ahmed Makkawy for our #MyDowntownRochMN campaign. This week we sat down with high school sweethearts John and Sandy to get their take on all things Downtown Rochester, MN. Plus, we learned how to make your trip to the dentist more enjoyable. 

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    Thursdays on First & 3rd Partner Series with Northwest Dental Group

    “Northwest Dental Group!” The jingle is always stuck in your head, but did you know that they’ve been serving the Rochester community since 1963? Northwest Dental Group (NW Dental Group) offers a variety of services from teeth whitening to dentures. You can even find a children’s book about dental health specially written by one of their doctors.

    Thursdays on First & 3rd would not be possible without the support of businesses in the Rochester community. Thanks to Northwest Dental Group and our numerous other partners, we bring musicians, artists, craftspeople, and restaurateurs together, uniting residents and visitors alike.

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    Thursdays on First & 3rd Partner Series with Bremer Bank

    Bremer Bank has been a part of the region for nearly 75 years. In Rochester, they play an essential role during Thursdays on First & 3rd as Presenting 1st Avenue Stage Partner. This stage is home to three live performances every Thursday afternoon and evening.

    Thursdays on First & 3rd would not be possible without the support of businesses in the Rochester community. Thanks to Bremer Bank and our numerous other partners, we bring musicians, artists, craftspeople, and restaurateurs together, uniting residents and visitors alike.

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    Thursdays on First & 3rd Partner Series with Winona State University-Rochester

    Winona State University - Rochester (WSU - Rochester) has been an integral part of Rochester and the surrounding area since 1917. Community is an essential part of who they are. This summer you can find them not only at Thursdays on First & 3rd, but at events across Rochester. All of their educational programming is designed to meet not only workforce needs, but also the needs of people achieving their personal and professional goals. Thursdays on First & 3rd would not be possible without the support of businesses in the Rochester community. Thanks to WSU - Rochester and our numerous other partners, we bring musicians, artists, craftspeople, and restaurateurs together, uniting residents and visitors alike.

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    Thursdays on First & 3rd Partner Series with Marco

    Does your business need help with your office technology solutions? Marco can help. Marco is one of the largest technology providers in the country with over 32,000 clients throughout the Midwest and nationwide. They specialize in business IT services, copier/printer solutions and managed and cloud services. Marco agrees, Thursdays on First & 3rd is a perfect place to relax after work. That’s why they’ve chosen to activate 3rd Street for their upcoming client appreciation event on August 9th.

    Thursdays on First & 3rd would not be possible without the support of businesses in the Rochester community. Thanks to Marco and our numerous other partners, we bring musicians, artists, craftspeople, and restaurateurs together, uniting residents and visitors alike.

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    #MyDowntownRochMN with Ahmed Makkawy

    Our last feature was on Shane Braatz and Svaar, owner of Knights Chamber for our #MyDowntownRochMN campaign. This week we sat down with Ahmed Makkawy to get his take on all things Downtown Rochester, MN. Plus, we learned some very interesting information about the banking industry as we also interviewed PJ from Think Bank.

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    #MyDowntownRochMN Featuring Think Bank

    Ahmed Makkawy shared with us in his #MyDowntownRochMN interview that the customer service at Think Mutual Bank helps make his Downtown experience stand out. We sat down with PJ, the Branch Manager at the Downtown location, to learn about Think Mutual Bank.

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    Thursdays on First & 3rd Partner Series with The Epilepsy Foundation of Minnesota

    Seizures and epilepsy are more common than you think. The Epilepsy Foundation of Minnesota (EFMN) improves the understanding of epilepsy through regional education programs and public awareness efforts. During Thursdays on First & 3rd, The Epilepsy Foundation of Minnesota is able to increase awareness about these conditions while connecting with and educating the Rochester community.

    Thursdays on First & 3rd would not be possible without the support of businesses in the Rochester community. Thanks to the Epilepsy Foundation of Minnesota and our numerous other partners, we bring musicians, artists, craftspeople, and restaurateurs together, uniting residents and visitors alike.

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    Thursdays on First & 3rd Partner Series with IBM Rochester

    IBM has been a part of the Rochester community since 1956. For 107 years, the company has excelled in bringing technology solutions to life, generating thousands of patents along the way. IBM Rochester is proud to partner with Thursdays on First & 3rd this summer, as they thank their employees and celebrate with the community in a bright and vibrant setting enhanced by great food and music.

    Thursdays on First & 3rd would not be possible without the support of businesses in the Rochester community. Thanks to the Rochester International Airport and our numerous other partners, we bring musicians, artists, craftspeople, and restaurateurs together, uniting residents and visitors alike.

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    #MyDowntownRochMN Featuring Knight's Chamber

    Located in the heart of the Shops at University Square lies Knight’s Chamber of Rochester. Shane Braatz mentioned in his #MyDowntownRochMN interview that the staff at Knight’s Chamber “provide a whole new level of customer service”. We decided to dig deeper into his statement and sit down with Svaar, owner of Knight’s Chamber, to learn about the ins and outs of his business.

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    Thursdays on First & 3rd Partner Series with Kraus-Anderson

    Kraus-Anderson has been shaping the Rochester landscape for 50+ years. They built landmarks such as the Rochester International Airport, Miracle Mile Shopping Center, University Square, Centerplace, and 318 Commons. For Kraus-Anderson, Thursdays on First & 3rd was a perfect partner and a great location for a client and business event. Kraus-Anderson is the first blog in our partnership series for Thursdays on First & 3rd. In the following weeks, we will be highlighting all of the partners that make this event possible. Thursdays on First &Third would not be possible without the support of businesses in the Rochester community. Thanks to Kraus-Anderson and our numerous other partners, we bring musicians, artists, craftspeople, and restaurateurs together, uniting residents and visitors alike.

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    #MyDowntownRochMN with Amanda Golden

    The Rochester Downtown Alliance (RDA) introduced #MyDowntownRochMN two weeks ago by featuring Nicki de Vera and highlighting Canvas & Chardonnay. The RDA will continue to provide interviews all year long, so no matter what the season, we’ll provide you with firsthand knowledge of how you can make YOUR Downtown experience even better. Plus, we invite you to share what you love about Downtown Rochester by using #MyDowntownRochMN on your social media accounts. 

    This week we sat down with Amanda Golden for #MyDowntownRochMN to get her take on all things Downtown Rochester, MN. 

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    #MyDowntownRochMN Featuring Canvas & Chardonnay

    Do you love painting with your girlfriends or just enjoy a fun night out with adult beverages? Nicki de Vera thinks Canvas & Chardonnay is the perfect place, as she mentioned in her #MyDowntownRochMN interview. We stopped by Canvas & Chardonnay to chat with Leah, one of the new owners, and learn more about the business.

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    Thursdays on First & 3rd 2018 Evening Entertainment

    Thursdays on First and 3rd 2018 kicks off on June 7 at 11:00am. In partnership with Riverside Concerts, the Rochester Downtown Alliance (RDA) presents to you the evening entertainment lineup for this summer's market.

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    Kick-Off Your Summer with Games on the Grass!

    The Games on the Grass kick-off event is only one week away on May 7 and we’re excited to give you the scoop on this summer’s hottest new program!

    Games on the Grass will feature a branded game cart in the grassy area of the Peace Plaza, which will contain a myriad of lawn games and board game pieces. There will also be tables and chairs near the Peace Plaza fountain topped with a game board decal. All games will be available for the public to use free of charge in the months of May to October.

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

    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’.

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    Startup Weekend Rochester

    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.

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

    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.

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    Featured Stakeholder Series w/ Pasquale Presa

    In just under a year Pasquale’s Neighborhood Pizzeria has sure created a buzz in Downtown Rochester. Providing a fresh take on traditional foods to provide a little piece of Italy, culture, and authenticity that hasn’t gone unnoticed. Our Marketing and Communications Manager, Samantha, sat down with Pasquale Presa and we have to tell you, we are very excited for what is in store for this up and coming downtown business. 

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    Bremer Bank Gives Back

    If you have been down to Thursday’s on First and 3rd this year, you know how great some of our vendors are, but this year we want to take the time to highlight a few of the organizations that help make this event possible. Throughout the rest of the summer we will be using our blog and social media accounts to introduce some of our fantastic partners.

    Bremer Bank has truly been instrumental to Thursday’s on First & 3rd, not only do they provide a few lucky members of the crowd with a t-shirt, but each week they provide a local nonprofit with their tent space to help them promote their mission and vision to the community. That is truly what giving back is all about and we couldn’t be more grateful for the support of Bremer. 

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    Announcing the 2017 Thursdays on First band lineup!

    Announcing The 2017 TOF Band Line-Up!

    This summer, Thursdays on First & 3rd will have 85 performers! All the bands are now listed on our website with music ranging from rock, folk, pop, country, and blues. Click to see the lunchtime and evening band line-up.

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    Apply for the stART-up grant, Pay it Forward, events and more

    Downtown Update with KROC AM: Monday, April 10

    Get the scoop on Rochester's hottest events with our monthly radio show thanks to KROC AM. Click to listen.

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    2nd Annual Ladies Night Out Event Guide

    Ladies Night Out Event Guide

    When: Thursday, March 23
    Time: 5 pm - 9 pm
    Where: Downtown Rochester

    Event Information

    Ladies Night Out brings women together in downtown Rochester for a night of shopping, dining, and giveaways:

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    Ladies Night Out & St. Patrick's Day Celebrations

    Ladies Night Out: Comment to Win Contest

    When: March 23
    Time: 5 pm - 9 pm
    Where: Downtown Rochester

    RSVP here by tomorrow, 3/16, and enter to win a $48 prize bundle provided by Sterling State Bank.

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    Ladies Night Out giveaways & more

    Ladies Night Out: Sterling State Bank Giveaway & More

    When: March 23
    Time: 5 pm - 9 pm
    Where: Downtown Rochester

    Planning to attend Ladies Night Out? RSVP here and enter to win a $48 prize bundle provided by Sterling State Bank. Yes, it is just that simple! RSVP must be between 3/10-3/16 to be entered to win. 

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    SocialICE Wraps Up

    Thank you to our SocialICE Premier Partners Mayo Clinic and Minnesota Super Bowl Host Committee

    The Rochester Downtown Alliance would like to recognize and thank Mayo Clinic and Minnesota Super Bowl Host Committee for partnering with us on SocialICE. Partnerships like theirs help build amazing events and a vibrant and unique downtown community.

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    Downtown Rochester Events e-Newsletter week of 1/25

    SocialICE Contest: Comment to Win a Love Your Melon Beanie


    On our Facebook page, tell us why you're excited about going to SocialICE for a chance to win this beanie by Love Your Melon. Like the post to double your chances.

    The contest runs until January 27, and we'll announce a winner that same day on our Facebook page.

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    SocialICE Insider's Guide: How to win (before & during) SocialICE

    SocialICE – Rochester Minnesota’s Ice Bar – is the outdoor winter experience for anyone seeking a vibrant and authentically Rochester experience. Not only is there plenty to see and do at SocialICE – 7 Ice Bars, live entertainment, life size ice sculptures to name a few – there are also plenty of chances to get in on the fun and win great prizes; 3 chances to be exact.

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    Get FREE popcorn this Thursday and Winter Clearance Sale begins today

    National Popcorn Day locations announced



    Get your free bag of Carroll's Corn popcorn at:

    Location 1: Subway Level, outside Associate Bank (101 1st Ave SW)
    Location 2: Shops at University Square (111 S Broadway), first floor, by escalator

    Thursday, January 19 is National Popcorn Day and what better way to celebrate the day than giving away free popcorn?

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    2017 SocialICE Ice Bars Announced

    2017 SocialICE participating ice bars and themes announced

    SocialICE draws big crowds and one reason is the amazing uniquely themed ice bars that make up Rochester, MN's Ice Bar. Click here to see which bars will be at SocialICE 2017 and what theme to expect.

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    So what has the RDA been up to anyway?

    Nearly 100 attend RDA 2016 Annual Meeting

    Downtown stakeholders, community members, and RDA Board Members were all in attendance for the RDA's 2016 Annual Meeting

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    'A Christmas Carol' and plenty more to get in to the holiday spirit

    'A Christmas Carol' at The Rochester Civic Theatre Company

    When: December 2 - 18
    Where: Rochester Civic Theatre - 20 Civic Center Drive SE
    Cost: From $21- $31

    A holiday classic for all, "A Christmas Carol" By Charles Dickens, adapted for the stage by The Civic's Artistic Director Greg Miller. Gather for this beloved Christmas story. Guaranteed to thrill, amaze, and delight this holiday season. Suggested viewing age: 10 and up. Click here for more information.

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    Shopping Small, Big Winner, Holiday Look Book & More

    Win 2 Tickets to 'The Nutcracker'

    Visit the Downtown Rochester Facebook Page to enter for a chance to win two tickets to see the Rochester Dance Company's 14th season of "The Nutcracker" on Saturday, December 10, at 7 PM. Click here to visit our page and leave a comment to enter. Contest ends December 5.

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    Here Come Santa Claus and Small Business Saturday Event Guide

    Here Comes Santa Claus Event Guide

    When: Friday, November 25, from 6 - 8:30 pm
    Where: Old City Hall, Peace Plaza, Shops at University Square (111 S Broadway)
    Parking: Parking at all City ramps and street parking is free after 5 pm. The two closest ramps will be 3rd Street Ramp and Center Street Ramp. Click here for more options.
    Official Webpage: DowntownRochesterMN.com

    Schedule & Activities

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    Downtown Rochester events update for week of Nov 16 - Nov 23

    Next Week: 42nd Annual Here Comes Santa Claus

    When: Friday, November 25, from 6 - 8:30 pm
    Where: Old City Hall, Peace Plaza, Shops at University Square (111 S Broadway)

    Here Comes Santa Claus,” downtown Rochester’s cherished holiday tradition, features appearances by Santa Claus, Mrs. Claus, local celebrities, live entertainment, and Peace Plaza tree lighting ceremony.

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    Downtown Update with KROC Am: Monday, November 14

    Get the scoop on Rochester's hottest events with our monthly radio show thanks to KROC AM. Click to listen.

    In this month's episode, downtown Rochester's cherished holiday tradition returns for the 42nd year, it's time to support local small business, and the deadline is November 30 for the stART-UP grant. Click to listen.

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    It's Global Entrepreneurship Week in downtown Rochester

    Global Entrepreneurship Week Rochester

    November 14-20 is Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW) Rochester - a celebration of entrepreneurship in Rochester, MN.

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    End the battle of where to Eat & Drink in downtown Rochester

    End the Battle of Where to Eat & Drink

    Downtown Rochester has choices bound to bring everyone together. Check out the full list of places to Eat & Drink on our newly re-designed website. Click here for more information.

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    Halloween Fun, Women's Fall Expo & More

    Rochester Women's Fall Expo 2016

    When: Saturday, Oct 29 from 9 am-4 pm
    Where: Mayo Civic Center - 30 Civic Center Drive SE

    Gather your girlfriends for a day of shopping, entertainment and FUN! The Rochester Women’s Fall Expo is back for its 20th year on Saturday, October 29th at the Mayo Civic Center. Enjoy over 100 exhibitors, a fashion show, cooking demonstration, guest speakers, and much more. Click here for more information.

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    Fall Fest, Tell us what you thought! and more

    Fall Fest 2016: Tell Us What You Thought


    Photo: Fall Fest 2016

    Thank you to everyone who attended our first ever Fall Fest event in downtown Rochester! We were very excited to see thousands of you at the event. We'd like to hear what you thought about Fall Fest to help us plan for future years. (You guessed it...survey time!) Take this short survey, and give us your feedback. Click here to take the survey.

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    Fall Fest is this Saturday from 10 am - 2 pm

    Family-Friendly "Fall Fest" is this Saturday, and this is your guide

    "Fall Fest," downtown Rochester's newest family-focused event, is this Saturday, October 15 from 10 am - 2 pm on the Peace Plaza.

    Like getting instant Fall Fest updates? RSVP on our Facebook Event Page.

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    Meet our Partners: Epilepsy Foundation of Minnesota

    Thursdays on First & 3rd is quickly becoming a downtown Rochester summer tradition. With its unique selection of artisan vendors, delicious street eats, and energetic live entertainment, our partners like Epilepsy Foundation of Minnesota team up with the Rochester Downtown Alliance to make Rochester's summer tradition possible.

    Founded in 1954, the Epilepsy Foundation of Minnesota (EFMN) is a non-profit organization that offers programs and services to educate, connect and empower people affected by seizures. EFMN leads the fight to overcome the challenges of living with epilepsy and to accelerate therapies to stop seizures, find cures and save lives.

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    Meet our Partners: IBM Rochester

    Thursdays on First & 3rd is quickly becoming a downtown Rochester summer tradition. With its unique selection of artisan vendors, delicious street eats, and energetic live entertainment, our partners like IBM team up with the Rochester Downtown Alliance to make Rochester's summer tradition possible.

    IBM Rochester is proud to partner with Thursdays on First & 3rd as we celebrate 60 Years of Innovation in 2016!

    The unique venue and offerings of Thursdays on First & 3rd - smack in the heart of Rochester with live music, delicious street food, and artisan vendors – is the perfect place to share our celebration with the Rochester community, business associates, our employees, and former IBMers. With a history that spans computer technology from the programmable era, through to this decade’s birth of cognitive computing systems and solutions, IBM Rochester has been a stalwart contributor to the IBM Corporation.

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    Meet Our Partners: CB3

    Thursdays on First & 3rd is quickly becoming a downtown Rochester summer tradition. With its unique selection of artisan vendors, delicious street eats, and energetic live entertainment, our partners like CB3 Burgers & Brews team up with the Rochester Downtown Alliance to make Rochester's summer tradition possible.

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    Downtown Update with KROC Am: Monday, May 9

    Get the scoop on Rochester's hottest events with our monthly radio show thanks to KROC AM. Click to listen.

    In this month's episode, Thursdays on First & 3rd band lineup announce, and we talk about PlaceMakers. What is PlaceMakers? Click to listen.

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    Downtown Update with KROC Am: Monday, April 11

    Get the scoop on Rochester's hottest events with our monthly radio show thanks to KROC AM. Click to listen.

    In this month's episode, another chance to win a very special downtown Rochester mug, new website launches Monday, and a full list of Movies in the Park movies.

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    Downtown Update with KROC Am: Monday, March 14

    Get the scoop on Rochester's hottest events with our monthly radio show thanks to KROC AM. Click to listen.

    In this month's episode, we recap the first ever Ladies Night Out, summer events season, and the stART-up Fund.

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    Hundreds Turn Up to Attend First Ever Ladies Night Out

    Hundreds Turn Up for Ladies Night Out

    The first ever downtown Rochester Ladies Night Out was March 10. This exciting new event brought out hundreds to downtown Rochester for a night of shopping, dining, and giveaways.

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