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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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    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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    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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    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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    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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    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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    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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    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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    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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    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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    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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    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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    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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    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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    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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    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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    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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    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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    '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 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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    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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    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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    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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    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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