RDA Blog

Category: Thursdays on first & 3rd


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

Posted on August 27,2018

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

Posted on August 24,2018

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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Hiawatha Homes Bringing "Over the Edge" to Thursdays on First & 3rd

Posted on August 11,2018

On Thursday, August 16, representatives from Hiawatha Homes will be on site at Thursdays on First & 3rd for their "Over the Edge" event, sending brave souls rappelling down the side of the U.S. Bank Building in Downtown Rochester.

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Thursdays on First & 3rd Partner Series with Townsquare Media

Posted on July 25,2018

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

Posted on July 23,2018

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

Posted on July 16,2018

“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

Posted on July 11,2018

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

Posted on July 9,2018

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

Posted on July 4,2018

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

Posted on June 25,2018

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

Posted on June 20,2018

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

Posted on June 16,2018

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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Thursdays on First & 3rd Insider's Guide

Posted on June 3,2018

The start of the Thursdays on First & 3rd season is finally here and we here at the Rochester Downtown Alliance (RDA) want to make sure you have everything you need to know to prepare for a summer full of fun!

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Thursdays on First & 3rd 2018 Lunchtime Entertainment

Posted on May 17,2018

Thursdays on First & 3rd begins on June 7 at 11:00am. The Rochester Downtown Alliance (RDA) is proud to announce the 2018 lunchtime entertainment lineup for this summer's market. 

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Thursdays on First & 3rd 2018 Evening Entertainment

Posted on May 2,2018

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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Partner Feature: Edina Realty

Posted on August 16,2017

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. 

About Edina Realty

Edina Realty has been part of the community for over 20 years and continually looks for new ways to serve their customers better by offering more products and services for the entire home ownership experience...

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Brews, Burgers, and MORE!

Posted on August 9,2017

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. 

This Kahler property went through a brand refresh back in 2015, which brought a new look and feel to the restaurant along with brand new menu items, that are sure to delight. CB3, conveniently located at the Kahler Inn & Suites is open daily for lunch and dinner featuring 10 specialty burgers along with an extensive list of brews, wine, and of course a list of specialty cocktails!

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Fly Local Campaign Increases Flights by 65%

Posted on August 2,2017

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.

This partner has been a staple of our community and has truly helped us see the world differently, that’s right, we’re talking about The Rochester International Airport (RST)! They have been a fantastic partner and we truly appreciate the value they bring to the community as they share their booth each week for Thursdays on First and 3rd with local organizations. RST will also be at Dogs Downtown on August 6th from 11AM to 3PM talking about their new Pet Therapy Program.

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Relaxing Ambiance, Wine, and Meals Made from Scratch...

Posted on July 26,2017

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.

Salute Wine Bar has been part of the Rochester community since 2013 and we are so thrilled to have them as a part of downtown. With a beautiful patio, fabulous wine selection, and dishes made from scratch, who wouldn't want to visit this establishment? 

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Bremer Bank Gives Back

Posted on July 24,2017

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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Will you walk for awareness?

Posted on July 19,2017

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.

This partner has been in the Rochester community for almost 20 years and is truly making a different. They host annual walks to raise money and awareness, they also offer free seizure response trainings to the community. Join the Epilepsy Foundation of MN on August 3rd at the Eagles Club from 5PM to 8:30PM for their annual Rise Above Seizure’s Walk!

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Calling all foodies! Check out what's new at Thursdays on First

Posted on May 18,2017

As the temps rise and the evenings grow longer, the excitement for another season of Thursdays on First and 3rd continues to build. Thousands of people will soon flood downtown Rochester for the summer’s premier market and music festival.

The food and drink at Thursdays on First and 3rd never disappoints, and the summer of 2017 is sure to be no exception. We surveyed our participating food and drink vendors to find out what’s new this summer, and, as we guessed, there will be no shortage of new tasty treats and cool drinks. Here are some of the highlights of what’s new at Thursdays on First!  

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Announcing the 2017 Thursdays on First band lineup!

Posted on May 3,2017

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 Here to Pay It Forward

Posted on April 5,2017

Themed Thursdays on First - Pay It Forward on 7/13

On July 13, Thursdays on First will feature our 3rd annual "Pay It Forward" theme in which the Rochester Downtown Alliance (RDA) will partner with a limited number of local non-profit groups at the event. 

Click here to begin the application process

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Local bands/musicians needed for Thursdays On First & 3rd and Down by the Riverside.

Posted on January 3,2017

RELEASE DATE: Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Local bands/musicians needed for Thursdays On First & 3rd and Down by the Riverside.    

ROCHESTER, MN, - Riverside Concerts is seeking local bands/musicians to play the Thursdays On First and 3rd Music Festival and the opening slots at the Down by the Riverside Free Summer Concert Series. All musical genres will be considered. Original material is encouraged. 
 
Thursdays On First & 3rd Requirements:
1). must have enough material to fill a 60 minute set
2). must provide own backline (on-stage instruments and amplification)

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Meet Our Partners: People Food Co-Op

Posted on July 26,2016

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 The People's Food Co-Op team up with the Rochester Downtown Alliance to make Rochester's summer tradition possible.

This week, The People's Food Co-Op will be at Thursdays on First & 3rd showing their support for building a vibrant downtown community and educating attendees on what they bring to the table. Be sure to visit their booth during the evening performances near the First Ave Stage and thank them for helping make Thursdays possible.

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Meet our Partners: Epilepsy Foundation of Minnesota

Posted on July 18,2016

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

Posted on July 12,2016

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

Posted on June 14,2016

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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Meet Our Partners: The Post-Bulletin

Posted on June 7,2016

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 The Post-Bulletin team up with the Rochester Downtown Alliance to make Rochester's summer tradition possible.

RochesterMN.com, powered by Post-Bulletin, is your guide to living local, and home to the area’s most engaging and comprehensive events calendar. We’re sure our calendar has already told you that on Thursdays, the place to be is downtown at Thursdays on First and 3rd. We are thrilled to sponsor this fun, vibrant community event.

Ready to get the word out about your upcoming event? It couldn’t be easier.

... and we do all the rest! We make it simple to invite your friends to attend, or to share across social media channels.

We encourage you to visit the newly redesigned RochesterMN.com; you’re sure to find something that piques your interest. In addition to the calendar, RochesterMN.com is home to four of your favorite magazines including 507 (events and entertainment), Rochester Magazine (local lifestyle), Radish (health & wellness) and At Home (real estate & home décor). 

Come say hi to the RochesterMN.com team at the 1st Ave. stage booth on June 9, July 14 and August 11!

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Thursdays on First & 3rd kicks off June 2nd

Posted on June 1,2016

Source: Fox 47

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Meet Our Partners: Winona State University Rochester

Posted on May 31,2016

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 Winona Sate University Rochester team up with the Rochester Downtown Alliance to make Rochester's summer tradition possible.

This week, WSU Rochester will kick off the summer season and be at Thursdays on First & 3rd showing their support for building a vibrant downtown community and educating attendees on what they bring to the table. Be sure to visit their booth during the evening performances near the First Ave Stage and thank them for helping make Thursdays possible.

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Thinking Thursdays: What makes Rochester so great

Posted on August 25,2015

As I write this, it’s a cool 64 degrees outside. It’s overcast, and the first of the fall apples are in a bowl on the table. I don’t think it’s officially Fall by any stretch of the imagination, but it certainly feels like we’re getting a taste of it. The other way that I know that autumn is quickly approaching, besides the “Going Back to School” sales and the Halloween decorations up at Hobby Lobby, is that this week is the last Thursdays on First & Third of the season.

When I started blogging in June, the summer seemed to stretch on forever. If I’ve learned anything from blogging all summer, it’s that there’s plenty to say about Thursdays on First & Third.

I loved being able to try all of the delicious foods, check out the beautiful crafts, and enjoy all of the talented musicians and performers. However, if I had to pick a personal favorite, I would say that the best part of Thursdays on First & Third was getting a chance to talk to the vendors.

In past years, I’ve chatted a little bit with the vendors as I wandered through the market, but one of the advantages of blogging is I have a great reason to strike up conversation with vendors whose booths caught my attention. And you know what? It was so rewarding to hear all about how vendors from all around south-eastern Minnesota (some even farther!) discovered their passion for the product they were making -- from food to soap to carving wood. It was, and I don’t use this word lightly, inspiring.

It was inspiring because I was able to see the hard work and dedication of vendors who genuinely cared about what they were crafting, whether this was their first or tenth year at the market, and it made me appreciate their commitment. And, it was fun. It was fun to feel more connected and to have a better sense of the community that makes up Rochester. So, as we go into the last week of Thursdays on First & Third for 2015, my challenge to you is to strike up a conversation with someone--anyone--and find out a little bit about what makes Rochester so great. Because in the end, that’s the whole reason for attending Thursdays, right?

-Jane

Jane Funk is a blogger, educator, reader, and nap-taking enthusiast and is the guest blogger for the summer downtown Rochester blog series Thinking Thursdays with Jane Funk.

 

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Meet our Partners: Gerhards - The Kitchen & Bath Store

Posted on August 19,2015

    

Gerhards - The Kitchen & Bath Store -  will be at Thursdays on First & 3rd (TOF) showing their support for building a vibrant downtown community and educating attendees on what they bring to the table. Visit their booth during the evening performances near the Peace Plaza Ave Stage.

From www.gerhardsstore.com

"GerhardsGerhards- The Kitchen and Bath store has been family owned and operated since 1940. It all started in 1897 when three tradesmen, Reinie Wesson, Henry Poehling and Ed Roesler pooled their resources together to create La Crosse Plumbing Supply Company. Over the years the La Crosse Plumbing Supply Company grew, opening several new locations throughout the Midwest. In 1997 La Crosse Plumbing Supply Company became First Supply Group. 

"In 1940, Henry Poehling’s son Gary, who had worked both as a truck driver and warehouseman, took over the business. Gary “Gerhard” Poehling was an innovative and visionary leader. During his first year running the business, Gary opened what was likely the first kitchen and bath store in the country for contractors and homeowners to view kitchen and bath product displays. In 1987, a decision was made to give the showrooms their own, separate identity. To honor Gary's innovative concept, the kitchen and bath stores were renamed "Gerhards".

"Today the fifth generation of the Poehling family continues Gary's legacy by operating 27 First Supply locations, 13 Gerhards showrooms, and a Kohler Signature Store in Edina, MN. These showrooms provide an effective and essential sales tool for contractors by providing building and remodeling customers the opportunity to personally see and select the products they want for their home.

"Gary's ability to provide quality products and deliver unparalleled customer service made him legendary in the industry. In 2015, Gerhards celebrates 75 years of serving trade professionals and consumers by providing inspirational design, quality products, relevant resources and exceptional service." 

"Meet our Partners" is a five part blog series highlighting the Rochester Downtown Alliance's partnerships with the community businesses and organization that help make Thursdays on First & 3rd Possible. 

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Thinking Thursdays: Henna All Over!

Posted on August 18,2015

There are a lot of cool products you can get at Thursdays on First & 3rd-- handcrafted pottery, fresh food, hand-woven tapestries, beautiful paintings, and more. However, one popular take-away from the market isn’t something you can carry or hold; instead, henna body art is something you wear and lasts for days after the market!

There have been henna booths at Thursdays on First & Third every summer since it began, and it looks like they’re here to stay. Henna is a plant-based dye that can be used to create temporary body art. Traditionally used in India and a number of middle eastern countries as part of celebrations and rituals, the popularity of henna has now spread around the world. Check out some of the henna booths at Thursdays on First & 3rd!

Henna Carnival

Nazma Hoque has been volunteering and working at Thursdays on First & 3rd since the very first year, meaning that her booth has provided over a decade of beautiful henna designs for happy Rochesterites. A native of Bangladesh, Nazma is proud of the work she and her staff have done, especially their emphasis on quality and safety. Nazma believes their use of pure organic henna, natural essential oils, and safe body glitter is what makes Henna Carnival a great choice for customers. You can “trust our product,” she says.  

Artistic Henna

A part of her culture growing up, Ishrat Sharmin of Artistic Henna has been doing henna on family and friends since 1993 and has been doing henna professionally since 2009, which is the same year she started at Thursdays on First & 3rd. "Thursdays on First [& 3rd] brings unique talents and artists," Ishrat said. "...And I get to meet people from all over the world here." Ishrat mentions she has returning customers that seek her booth our from places like the Middle East, Canada, Australia and from the U.S. like Texas, Florida, and Montana. Also, it's all about doing a design that is important to the customer. 

The Henna Hut

Kayley Dahle has run the Henna Hut since 2009, making this summer her seventh summer at the market. Despite her many years doing henna, you can still feel her enthusiasm and love for henna. She feels being at Thursdays on First & 3rd is fun because she gets to engage in making art with the crowd. One thing she loves about henna is the “idea of our bodies as canvases” -- you can pick a design you love and then two weeks later your canvas is ready for some new art. Kayley thinks that what sets the Henna Hut apart is the variety of small, simple, and modern designs they offer in addition to the traditional and more elaborate designs.

AttRact Art & Boutique

Nila Patel is a relative newcomer to the henna scene at Thursdays on First & Third, having started her booth in 2014, but her interest in drawing and henna began at a young age. Nila began drawing when she was in elementary school, and she is proud of being a self-taught henna artist who can do both traditional and modern designs. She says both the traditional and the modern designs are popular, and notes that this year, the collarbone and the inside of the wrist have been popular places to get henna design. Despite the presence of other henna booths at the market, Nila feels like there isn’t a competition between them. Instead, she feels like she competes with herself to become even better.

While it’s certainly not as permanent as getting a real tattoo, with these three options for henna tattoos, you are certain to find a booth that fits your personality and your price point.

-Jane

Jane Funk is a blogger, educator, reader, and nap-taking enthusiast and is the guest blogger for the summer downtown Rochester blog series Thinking Thursdays with Jane Funk.

 

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Thinking Thursdays: Share Moments, Win Prizes!

Posted on August 11,2015

One of the highlights last week (at least for me and my son) had to be the petting zoo hosted by the Fantasy Corral for Youth Day. I was expecting to see some goats and maybe a pony, and ended up being surprised by the variety of animals they had -- a baby camel, some sleepy skunks, a whole little herd of cute LaMancha short-eared goats, and a brahman cow. I mean, who could resist that sweet face? I couldn’t, and this is coming from a person who swears my son is never getting a dog. But maybe he could get a brahman cow?

Of course, the petting zoo provided plenty of good photo ops (I’ll spare you all of the pictures of us petting the goats). Judging by the number of people I see taking selfies and snaps with their friends, I bet you’ve probably got a fair number of photos from Thursdays on First & 3rd.

As the end of the season approaches--you’ve got until August 27th to make it down here--now is the time to enter your photos into the Rochester Downtown Alliance photo contest. Wait a minute--a photo contest? You didn’t know there was a photo contest going on? Well actually, there are two. I’ve given you all of the details of how to enter below (it’s like three steps) as well as some photos I took last week that are definitely not going to win.

But wait! Before you go to all of the trouble of reading the instructions, you might want to know what the prizes are! According to this page, the prizes are as follows:  

The Downtown Rochester Gift Card Giveaway: Two people will win $150 Downtown gift cards

The Fly RST Photo Contest: Two people will win $300 Rochester International Airport Vouchers  

This is how you can win a $150 gift card

Come to any Thursdays on First & Third and snap a pic!
Share your photo on Twitter or Instagram with the #ThursdaysOnFirst
Register your photo at ThursdaysOnFirst.seenmoments.com

This is how you can win the $300 RST voucher

Come to Thursdays on First & Third on 8/27, find the RST Logo, and snap a pic with it!
Share your photo on Twitter or Instagram with the #ThursdaysOnFirst
Register your photo at ThursdaysOnFirst.seenmoments.com

Remember--you have to register to win! Hope to see lots of your creative pictures!

-Jane

Jane Funk is a blogger, educator, reader, and nap-taking enthusiast and is the guest blogger for the summer downtown Rochester blog series Thinking Thursdays with Jane Funk.

 

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Thinking Thursdays: Wellness

Posted on July 28,2015

It’s been a long time since those New Year’s Resolutions, but it’s never too late to recommit to a healthy lifestyle. This Thursday’s Theme is “Wellness,” so come downtown to have fun and check out a few Wellness-related events. Starting at noon on Thursday, all-day events will begin, such as an obstacle course presented by Olmsted Medical Center, an information booth from the YMCA about helping young people overcome health barriers, and a “Bike Powered Spin-O-Paint,” which I believe is just what it sounds like--pedaling to spray paint? But don’t take my word for it.

If you’re dropping by Thursdays on First & 3rd for your lunch break, be sure to check out the 1:30 Jazzercise demonstration. Or, if you need to relax, you’re in for a real treat. This week from 12:00-3:00 PM, the Bone Appetite Canine Bakery (BACB) is hosting a Paws2Relax event. Come on down and pet some adorable canine friends to clear your head during lunch. There’s nothing that relieves stress as quickly as wagging tails and friendly doggy cuddles, so be sure to schedule a little break into your day to visit the dogs of Thursdays on First and Third.

Or, if you’re browsing the booths for wellness related items, here are a few to include!

At “Simple Soaps for Simple Folks” you’ll find beautiful handmade soaps in a variety of creative shapes. All the soaps are made with fresh goat milk and are free of harsh additives and chemicals. If you’re looking for extra wellness benefits, you can check out soaps scented with essential oils, such as Lemon & Rosemary, Patchouli & Ylang Ylang, and Peppermint with Tea Leaf Bits. All of the soaps look and smell beautiful and using one of these soaps would be a wonderful, natural way to unwind.

If you're feeling worn down spiritually, you might want to drop by "4 Angels Creations." These ceramic angels are handcrafted with prayer by Nina Guertin. She uses old pieces of tatting or other handicrafts made by friends and customers to impress patterns on each of her Angels for a unique look. Each Angel is meant to encourage and uplift, and some include special healing stones such as Amethyst, Sodalite, and Mook Jasper which bring calm and harmony to the recipient.

Whatever type of Wellness you need, whether bodily, mental, or spiritual, come downtown this Thursday to add a little to your life.

-Jane

Jane Funk is a blogger, educator, reader, and nap-taking enthusiast and is the guest blogger for the summer downtown Rochester blog series Thinking Thursdays with Jane Funk.

 

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Meet our Partners: Rochester Magazine

Posted on July 28,2015

    

Rochester Magazine will be at Thursdays on First & 3rd (TOF) showing their support for building a vibrant downtown community and educating attendees on what they bring to the table. Take a look at what they have to say about being a part of Thursdays on First & 3rd, and visit their booth during the evening performances near the First Ave Stage.

Rochester Magazine is a monthly magazine published by the Post-Bulletin highlighting local entertainment, style and culture. We are thrilled to be a part of this week’s Thursdays on First & 3rd by sponsoring some of the area’s most talented musicians on the 1st Ave stage.

Want to know more about Roch Mag? Regular features of our publication include upcoming concerts and local entertainment, restaurant profiles, paparazzi shots from local charity events, personality profiles, fashion spreads, an annual best of restaurants contest, plus much more!

Our artistic design, captivating profiles and award-winning features keep readers anxiously awaiting each new issue. See for yourself by heading to the Roch Mag website to page through the August issue –or better yet– stop by our booth to pick up a print copy and chat with the team! And don’t forget to ‘like’ us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter, too! 

"Meet our Partners" is a five part blog series highlighting the Rochester Downtown Alliance's partnerships with the community businesses and organization that help make Thursdays on First & 3rd Possible. 

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Meet our Partners: Rochester International Airport

Posted on July 27,2015

This week, the Rochester International Airport (RST) will be at Thursdays on First & 3rd (TOF) showing their support for building a vibrant downtown community and educating attendees on what they bring to the table. Take a look at what they have to say about being a part of Thursdays on First & 3rd, and visit their booth during the evening performances near the Peace Plaza Stage.

RST is extremely excited to be a part of Thursdays on First & 3rd.  This event showcases all that is great about Rochester -- our strong and vibrant community.  The gathering of both local residents and visitors to our City creates such a great atmosphere for socializing and fun!  We know a few of our staff members absolutely can’t pass up a fish taco from Pescara or a bag of Carroll’s Corn!

RST has also partnered with the Rochester Downtown Alliance (RDA) to giveaway…Free Travel!!  Snap a photo of the RST Tailfin and use the #ThursdaysonFirst to enter on Twitter and Instagram.  You’ll be entered to win one of two $300 Travel vouchers from RST!  Stop by our booth near the Peace Plaza stage to learn more!

We are in the midst of exciting times at RST.  With a new daily Delta Air Lines flight to Atlanta and increased daily American Airlines flights to Chicago, we are able to provide our community with increased air travel options.  The community is responding by choosing to Fly Local!  The choice to fly local and buy local helps support our local businesses and benefits us all!

Rochester International Airport’s success is based on the support of our community to choose to Fly Local!  We thank you for your continued support of RST! See you at Peace Plaza!

"Meet our Partners" is a five part blog series highlighting the Rochester Downtown Alliance's partnerships with the community businesses and organization that help make Thursdays on First & 3rd Possible.

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Thinking Thursdays: Music to My Ears

Posted on July 21,2015

As we look forward to sunnier weather this week, here are a few other things happening that you can look forward to.

Come downtown this Thursday to enjoy the food, people, and the entertainment line-up. During the Lunchtime Entertainment (11:30-1:15) you can catch “Mayo’s Got Talent,” a variety show put on by the Mayo staff. Whether you want to discover a co-worker’s hidden talent, or just see what the Mayo staff do in their spare time, come check it out! You can also swing in the second half of the lunch break to hear DeKam & Johnson play their “Americana Rock.” You can check out songs ahead of time if you want here.

Thursday night there’s a variety of musical options, from the Copoetics (image on right) to Heatbox (image on left). At 5:00 PM are the Copoetics, are a “old soul folk” group from South Dakota who play the ukulele and the guitar. This duo, who met when they were both working as ‘alternative educators’ put out their most recent album “The Way of the Spirit Trail”  in 2014. You can listen to their music here. At 7:00 PM is Heatbox, who describes himself as a cross-over between “Motwon, A Cappella, R&B, Hip Hop, Soul and Funk.” With no pre-recorded tracks or samples, Heatbox beatboxes, loops, and sings his unique music. You can listen to his music here.

-Jane

Jane Funk is a blogger, educator, reader, and nap-taking enthusiast and is the guest blogger for the summer downtown Rochester blog series Thinking Thursdays with Jane Funk.

 

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Thinking Thursdays: Getting to Know You!

Posted on July 14,2015

This week I thought I would do something a little different. Inspired by the excellent “Humans of New York” blog, I spent last week’s market getting to know some of the people who were strolling through Thursdays on First & 3rd. It was fun to step outside of my comfort zone and get to know some of the community we have here in Rochester.

1. Wayne Flock runs the Rochester Lefse Co. at Thursdays on First & 3rd, although his involvement with the market goes back to the very beginning. After attending outdoor markets in the Netherlands, Flock felt that the Rochester community could use something similar and started the weekly markets 12 years ago.  

Jane: “Why did you think Rochester needed Thursday on First & 3rd?”
Wayne: “I was young. I was in my 20s. I thought that we needed to change this downtown to make it more people friendly [Thursdays on First & 3rd] is beautiful. It’s part of the city. It should be a part of the city”

2. I ran into Nicole on the corner of 2nd St. and 1st Avenue, where she told me this was her first time exploring Thursdays on First & 3rd.

Jane: “What are you doing right now?”
Nicole: “I’m on my lunch break. I work at Starbucks. It’s super busy on Thursdays”

3. This group of girls was waiting to get henna tattoos. When I asked them what the best part of Thursdays on First & 3rd is.

Jane: “What’s the best part of Thursdays on First & 3rd?”    
Group: “The Food! The Crepes!”   

4. Jason Pottorff may be a familiar sight on the corner of 2nd Street and First Avenue where he offers Tarot readings.

Jane: “What’s the best part about doing Tarot readings?”

Jason: “The connection you make with people. Everyone who comes for a reading is a stranger and you become close, at least for the time you are doing the reading [...] Whenever someone dedicates themselves to helping other people, the Holy Spirit helps them find the words they need to hear [...] I try to nudge them in a direction to keep them from being hurt in their lives.”

5. Arman and Behshid were enjoying some popcorn on Peace Plaza when I caught up with them. They enjoy tasting all of the food available from local restaurants at Thursdays on First & 3rd.

Jane: “Why do you come to Thursdays on First & 3rd?”
A & B: “We come here for the food, for the people, for the fun.”

-Jane

Jane Funk is a blogger, educator, reader, and nap-taking enthusiast and is the guest blogger for the summer downtown Rochester blog series Thinking Thursdays with Jane Funk.

 

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Meet our Partners: People's Food Co-Op helps build the 'Third Place'

Posted on July 9,2015

This week, the People's Food Co-Op (PFC) will be at Thursdays on First & 3rd (TOF) showing their support for building a vibrant downtown community and educating attendees on what they bring to the table. Take a look at what they have to say about being a part of Thursdays on First & 3rd, and visit their booth during the evening performances near the First Ave Stage.

"It’s easy to see why People’s Food Co-op and Thursdays on First & 3rd have natural synergy. With parallel missions like supporting local food and being vibrant social hubs, the two easily mirror one another. TOF has the ability to reach a significant portion of the city and connect them with nearby vendors and area businesses. Supporting small businesses and representing the community is the core of what the co-op is about, making sponsorship a logical fit, and the bonds and partnerships forged between area businesses are what make events like Thursdays on First & 3rd possible.

"Furthermore, PFC & TOF strive to establish a sense of closeness within a busy and growing Rochester. Ray Oldenburg, a renowned urban sociologist, notes that the modern era greatly requires  “the means for people to gather easily, inexpensively, regularly, and pleasurably”. 

"He continues by describing this concept of a “third place” or an informal public meeting place. “The phrase ‘third places’ derives from considering our homes to be the ‘first’ places in our lives, and our work places the ‘second’,” says Oldenberg. 

"Striving to restore these lost ‘third places’, People’s Food Co-op aims to curate community connection through several means. From featuring locally-sourced products that support our neighbors, to holding classes that educate our members and shoppers, to sponsoring events that make Rochester a great place to live; building community is essential to our mission. 

"Both PFC and TOF focus on illustrating all of the amenities that downtown Rochester has to offer. Our involvement with TOF began in 2013, when RDA’s vision for a local food and music festival came to fruition. We’re elated to be a part of Thursdays on First for another year."

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 the People's Food Co-Op team up with the Rochester Downtown Alliance to make Rochester's summer tradition possible.

"Meet our Partners" is a five part blog series highlighting the Rochester Downtown Alliance's partnerships with the community businesses and organization that help make Thursdays on First & 3rd Possible.

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Thinking Thursdays: Something for the Kids

Posted on July 7,2015

Back to reality after a great holiday weekend! Good thing we got those fireworks in before all the rain!

One of the things that I love about Thursdays on First & 3rd is it’s fun whether you’re by yourself, with a group of friends, or with the kids. If you find yourself with some children to entertain, make sure to check out the booths below for some kid-friendly fun.

DK Toys

It’s all too easy to accumulate plastic toys--they come with happy meals, in birthday party favor bags, and from gumball machines. If all of the plastic feels a little overwhelming, make sure to check out DK Toys. DeWayne King has been hand-making wooden toys for over 20 years, and these beautifully crafted toys are safe, fun, and look great. Choose from a variety of cars, logging trucks, fire-trucks, planes, etc.--just about any type of transportation you can imagine. Fun Fact: All of the items are sealed with mineral oil and all the colors come from Kool-Aid, so it’s fine for your baby to put in their mouth and they're also a treat to look at.

RLM Designs

Ronda McLaughlin may be a familiar face for those who love Thursdays on First & 3rd. Her face painting booth has been here for several years and she’s made hundred of children smile with her creative and colorful designs. Ronda was inspired to start her booth when she saw what she felt like was a lack of fun options for smaller children to participate in at the market. You can see a testament to her success in all the princesses, sharks, and occasional Yodas walking by you downtown.

Rock out with Big Bang Boom

"Dance like there's no one watching" is sometimes easier said than done unless your a kid and you're listening to Big Bang Boom! "Established in 2007 out of Greensboro, North Carolina, this rocking 3-piece power pop band consists of talented artists and long-time musicians Chuck Folds, Steve Willard, and Eddie Walker.  But this group doesn’t play just any ole average music….GET THIS! These dynamic dads play parent-friendly children’s music!!!!" Their high-energy performance encourages crowd participation from kids and parents. "Think of it as a 'kid-appropriate frat party.'"

-Jane

Jane Funk is a blogger, educator, reader, and nap-taking enthusiast and is the guest blogger for the summer downtown Rochester blog series Thinking Thursdays with Jane Funk.

Big Bang Boom bio sourced from bigbangboom.weebly.com

 

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Meet our Partners: Winona State University Rochester helps bring entertainment to Thursdays on First & 3rd and education to Rochester

Posted on July 1,2015

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 Winona Sate University Rochester team up with the Rochester Downtown Alliance to make Rochester's summer tradition possible.

This week, WSU Rochester will be at Thursdays on First & 3rd showing their support for building a vibrant downtown community and educating attendees on what they bring to the table. Take a look at what they have to say about being a part of Thursdays on First & 3rd, and visit their booth during the evening performances near the First Ave Stage...they usually have some cool stuff to hand out too!

"Winona State University-Rochester and Rochester Community and Technical College are excited to be part of Thursdays on First.   WSU-Rochester and RCTC have EACH been a part of Rochester for nearly 100 years! Visit the RCTC and WSU-Rochester #ThursdaysOnFirst booth and learn more about 'Path to Purple' and how you can complete your 2-year degree, 4-year degree and even a master's degree - all in Rochester. Our booth is located by the 1st Avenue band stage. Stop by after 5 pm on July 2nd and August 6th to spin the wheel and win a prize!

"Did you know that RCTC was founded on a motion by Dr. Charles Mayo 100 years ago? RCTC first opened its doors to 17 students in September of 1915. Today we are the largest college in Rochester and celebrating 100 years of serving generations of students from Rochester and around the world. As a community college, RCTC is a proud supporter of community events like Thursdays on First & 3rd. What a great way to reconnect with so many of RCTC’s current students and alumni! Go Yellowjackets!

"Winona State University-Rochester is the second largest college in Rochester. WSU-R also offers the most bachelor’s degrees in Rochester. We are co-located with RCTC and offer over thirty bachelor degree completion programs and graduate degrees in Rochester’s key industries including accounting, business, computer science, education, nursing and social work. We look forward to seeing you at Thursdays on First and 3rd!" 

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Thinking Thursdays: Sweet treats and the 4th of July!

Posted on June 30,2015

Red, White, & Blue

It's that time of year again-- the time of year when we celebrate the founding of our nation by driving to Wisconsin to load up on pyrotechnics. There will be plenty to do for the 4th of July, but make sure to get the festivities off to a good start with this year's Red, White, and Blue Themed Thursday on July 2nd. Dust off those American flag bandanas and pull out your favorite red, white or blue tank top to show off your patriotic colors. Not only will there be a chance to show off your colors, but there will also be yard games presented by SCHEELS, so come ready to have fun! Click here for more info on the activities and special Red, White, & Blue options by our vendors 

Sweet Treats

So I decided to take one for the team this week and try some of the sweet treats available at Thursdays on First & Third -- but only for the sake of recommendation of course :)  Below are five treats that I loved, but please let me know in the comments what your favorite treats are and what I should make sure to try in the future!

ZZest Ginger & Brown Butter Creme Brulee​

Zzest offers both a traditional vanilla creme brulee as well as the ginger and brown butter. If you’ve never had creme brulee, now is your chance! It’s the most amazing, buttery custard, served with a layer of caramelized sugar on top. And the best part is that Zzest preps the sugar on your creme brulee to order, which means that you get to watch them blow-torch your dessert!

Mon Petit Cupcake Lemon Cupcake with Blueberry Frosting

This cupcake is a dream. Moist, lemony, and not too sweet, with a swirl of sweet blueberry frosting on top. Make sure you get to the cupcake booth before they sell out! In case you just want a nibble, they also come in adorable miniature sizes. I mean, really, as if cupcakes weren’t already irresistible, now they’re mini?

Dark Chocolate Caramel & Sea Salt Fudge at Lark Fudge

I’ll admit that I’m picky about fudge. Maybe this is crazy to say, because it seems like the whole point of fudge, but sometimes it can be overwhelmingly sweet. Not the case for The Dark Chocolate Caramel & Sea Salt. It was an excellent balance of rich chocolate, sweet caramel, and crunchy flecks of salt. For those of you (I know you’re out there) who don’t love chocolate, I also tried the Praline, which was excellent.

Chester’s Banana Cream Pie Cone

I got this mostly out of curiosity. Was it ice cream? Was it pie? Would it be worth the $5? The answers are no, yes, and definitely yes. The Banana Cream Pie Cone has all of the goodness of pie, but is served in a large cone instead of pie crust. Each cone comes with a rich custard base (not too banana-y), whipped cream, chocolate sauce, bananas,and nuts--this is a seriously delicious pie. And have no fear about not getting your fair share. I split this cone with two friends and we all felt full. Definitely check it out, but bring someone to share it with!  

Wabi Sabi Bubble Tea

If you’ve never tried Bubble tea, take a sip and find your new obsession. I normally don’t like my drinks to be chewy, but I make an exception for the sweet tapioca pearls at the bottom of every cup. Available in a variety of refreshing fruit flavors (and with or without actual tea in the drink) it’s a good choice on a hot summer day!

-Jane

Jane Funk is a blogger, educator, reader, and nap-taking enthusiast and is the guest blogger for the summer downtown Rochester blog series Thinking Thursdays with Jane Funk.

 

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Thinking Thursdays: Bring Your Dancing Shoes!

Posted on June 16,2015

 

So sad about all that rain last week, right? Looks like we’re in for some more rain this week, but so far the weather app says Thursday is supposed to be “mostly sunny,” so fingers crossed!

Bring Your Dancing Shoes!    

First, a confession. When I was younger I used to dislike country music. “Confession” may be a bit dramatic of a word for something as small as that, but I had an arbitrary dislike of an entire musical genre, so I’m sticking with it. Turns out there’s nothing like an entire season working at Dairy Queen (and lacking the seniority to pick the music on the radio) to get to know and love some country hits. Looking back, I’m not sure what I disliked about country music--the feelings? The humor? The danceability? Well, whatever it was, I’m glad I got over it, because summer time is the best time for dancing along to country on the radio. Or, even better, dancing to some great live music with everyone else at Thursdays on First & Third. And believe me, this week’s band line-up is guaranteed to make you dance, whether or not you consider yourself a country kind of person.

First up, at 5:00 we have Swing Street, “a darn fine big band” that is going to have you tapping your toes. I couldn’t find a good Youtube video of their sound, but if you visit their site, they’ve posted a few tracks for you to listen to so you can get a feel for their sound.  Also at 5:00 is the Fumée Gypsy Project,which has a great jazz sound that you can sway and swing to. Here’s a video of their great cover of “Just One of Those Days.”

The 7:00 line-up gets into a fun mix of country, blues and Americana with Maiden Dixie (based in Minneapolis and Nashville) and Logan Brill. Both Logan and Maiden Dixie have debuted (or will debut) their sophomore albums this year, and while they both belong somewhere in the realm of country, their different sounds and sensibilities make for a fun contrast. Take a listen to Logan Brill’s “Far Cry from You” or “Shuteye” to get a feel for some of her music. And from Maiden Dixie you should check out “Shoulda’ Gone Home” from their new Unsafe & Sound album.


Happy listening and hope to see you dancing along this Thursday! 

-Jane

Jane Funk is a blogger, educator, reader, and nap-taking enthusiast and is the guest blogger for the summer downtown Rochester blog series Thinking Thursdays with Jane Funk.

 

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Thinking Thursdays: Father's Day Finds & #RedBallProject comes to Historic 3rd

Posted on June 9,2015

I hope you were able to make it downtown to one of the largest Thursday on First & 3rd kickoffs ever! Well if you didn't, stop by this week for some great Father's Day Finds and the first ever Themed Thursday

Five Fun Finds for Father’s Day

After we bought my dad the Beatles’ entire discography my siblings and I ran out of Father’s Day gift ideas...he has way too many ties tucked away in the back of his closet. So if you’re feeling stumped about what to get your father, or that special father figure in your life, check out the unique gifts available at the Thursdays on First & 3rd.

1. Gotcha Rocks--Gemstone Guitar Picks

Michael Seiler is a smith by trade, but his love of music lead him to making guitar picks out of semi-precious stones like Jasper and moss agate about 2 years ago. And if the polished, intricate patterns of the gemstone picks aren’t enough to draw you in, take a looking at the picks made from Australian fossilized dinosaur bones. Using one of these picks, dad is in the company of music luminaries such as Willie Nelson, Edie Brickell, and Joe Bonamassa.

2. DLF Custom Fishing Rods

Dan of DLF has been making custom fishing rods for 17 years. From saltwater fishing to ice fishing, Dan has the right rod for the job. He handmakes all the handles and if you don’t see one you love, you can choose from 100 types of wood for a custom rod. He also does custom engraving.

3. Grandma’s Gourmets

Maybe your dad doesn’t have a hobby, but I haven’t met a man yet who doesn’t love good food, which is exactly what you’ll find at Kimberly Olson’s booth. When Ms.Olson was recovering from back surgery in 2007, she found herself keeping busy by turning wild grapes from her father’s backyard into delectable jam for her whole family. She sells a wide variety of jams, jellies, pickles, and salsa. I sampled her Bloody Mary pickle (everything but the vodka and the worcestershire sauce) which was crispy and delicious.

4. Tilly Air 

When Kyle’s brother brought back an intriguing, spiky plant from a trip to Southern California, he realized that he wanted to share these beautiful air plants across Minnesota. The best thing about these unusual plants, besides their unique shapes is that even if Dad doesn’t have a green thumb, he can probably keep an air plant alive. Originating in Central and South America, these plants grow in harsh environments and, instead of rooting in the soil, they get all the nutrients they need from air and water. With price points from $6 on up, you’ll be sure to find something exotic and un-killable for dad.

5. Turned Write--Handcrafted 

I do most of my writing on electronic devices, and I’m assuming your dad does too, but that just means that if I am going to hand-write something like a note to grandma, I want to use a good pen. At Turned Write, you can get dad elegant writing tool for a reasonable price. These multi-hued pens are all hand-turned and each one is made free form. With creative handles in a variety of woods and metals (and easily refillable), these pens wouldmake a beautiful gift. 

Themed Thursday: Redball Project

As a final note, this week is our first Themed Thursday! The popular and wildly interactive Redball Project is an interactive art installation by artist Kurt Perschke that’s going to be in different locations all around Rochester this week. It's been getting lots of attention over the past few days at these past locations (click here). Post your photos of the RedBall with #RedBallProject to have your photos featured on the website. If you know that you’re not going to make it out to any of the other sites this week, then make sure to check out the ball when it’s on historic 3rd Street this Thursday.

See you there!

-Jane

Jane Funk is a blogger, educator, reader, and nap-taking enthusiast and is the guest blogger for the summer downtown Rochester blog series Thinking Thursdays with Jane Funk.

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Thinking Thursdays: Five Tips for Making the Most of Thursdays on First & 3rd

Posted on June 1,2015

The first day of summer may not technically be until June 21st, but Thursdays on First & 3rd kicks off this Thursday, June 4th, and it feels like summer is in full swing to me. For those of you who know what I’m talking about--welcome back to your favorite day of the (work) week. And for any Rochester-ites who haven’t been downtown yet…come join the fun. We’ll be here.  

Whether or not you’ve been to Thursdays on First & 3rd before, check out my top five To-Dos for a flawless summer market season. 

1. Take advantage of new Themed Thursdays

Love supporting Rochester non-profit groups? Not sure where to parade that pair of red, white & blue shorts sitting in your dresser? Want to take a selfie with the giant RedBall? You can do all of this, and more, at this year’s newest addition: “Themed Thursdays.” Select Thursdays throughout the summer will have additional activities centered on a variety of themes, such as “Pay it Forward,” “Red, White & Blue,” and “Redball Project Rochester.” These themes add a whole new way to enjoy your Thursdays. Check out this page for a full listing of themes and how to plan accordingly! 

2. Know what you want out of your time

Like me, you might remember when Thursdays on First & 3rd was just "Thursdays on First" and had just a handful of booths. Well, things have gotten a lot bigger in recent years, especially the music scene. Make sure you check out the band lineup to see when your favorites are playing, and don’t forget all the bands and performers who provide the Lunchtime Entertainment and plan accordingly so you don't miss your favorite entertainers. Thursdays on First & 3rd can fly by in a flash -- make the most of it!

3. Revisit an Old Favorite 

Rejoice! Your favorite hand-made soaps, big cookies, henna tattoos, and ceramics will be back this year! Make sure to stop by, chow down, get dyed, and stock up before the summer turns into fall. Whatever you love about Thursdays on First, relish it while it lasts. And new this year, and a welcome one, is the online interactive vendor map. It allows you to see where your favorite vendors are as well as some new ones that we all can't wait to visit! 

4. Sample Something New 

It can be so easy to fall into comfortable habits, so make the most out of your time downtown by trying a new food, a new band, or a new product. Who knew you loved gyros that much? Now you do. Go outside your comfort zone and get to know a new vendor, band, or restaurant. Sometimes serendipity is the best guide and we'll have fun ideas for how to do that on our blog.  

5. Wear Sunscreen. 

You won't regret it.  

Jane Funk is a blogger, educator, reader, and nap-taking enthusiast and is the guest blogger for the summer downtown Rochester blog series Thinking Thursdays with Jane Funk.

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Thinking Thursdays with Jane Funk

Posted on May 29,2015

"Hi. I'm Jane..."

Hi. I’m Jane. I’ll be taking you through the ins and outs of Rochester’s biggest summer festival, Thursdays on First & 3rd. Check out this blog for the best info on this season’s hottest performances, must-have items, and tasty treats synonymous with a Rochester summer, all at Thursdays on First & 3rd. From the bandstand to the baklava, I've got you covered. 

Jane Funk is a blogger, educator, reader, and nap-taking enthusiast and is the guest blogger for the summer downtown Rochester blog series Thinking Thursdays with Jane Funk.

 

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Downtown Update with KROC AM: SocialICE is Feb 19 - 21 and Thursdays on First Vendor Applications Available today!

Posted on February 9,2015

Downtown Update with KROC AM radio show:

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

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In the News: "'Thursdays' takes on new persona during winter" - KTTC

Posted on January 18,2015

KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) – It's about this point in the winter when we start to get a little bit of cabin fever and it's tough to imagine that we're more than halfway to the return of summer.

Fast forward 149 days from Thursday, and thousands will be flocking to downtown Rochester for the first Thursdays on First and Third of the year.

"That's my happy place! To go outside without a coat!" gushed Rochester resident Sheila Rainey.

But now, in the dead of winter, almost every Thursday is spent above or below 1st Avenue in the skyways and subways.

"Everybody does move up here and move into the different food court areas right now in the winter time, and the subway as well,” said Rochester resident Denny Djock.

The vibrant outdoor pulse of Rochester is now either huddled indoors or bundled up under layers of scarves.

"You would certainly need to be bundled up with only your eyeballs showing if you were going to look at Thursdays on First..." click for full article.

 

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Downtown Update with KROC AM: New year brings the hottest ( and coldest!) Rochester events

Posted on January 13,2015

Downtown Update with KROC AM radio show:

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Tags: Entertainment | Thursdays on first & 3rd | Events


Wedding at Thursday's on First & 3rd

Posted on July 19,2014

 

Written By: Jackie O'Reilly I Special Events Intern 

 

Thursdays on First & 3rd is an event that truly brings the community of Rochester together. For one couple in particular, this weekly summer event reunited the two after several years, resulting in a pubic wedding ceremony at the very location where they reconnected.

Tom and Tonya Wolter were the first to tie the knot at Thursdays on First held in the Peace Plaza on July 10, 2014.  They originally met one another twenty years ago while working at Mayo Clinic in Rochester.  The two went their separate ways, but met again 18 years later at the downtown event.

The couple started dating and eventually got engaged. They decided to marry and wanted to celebrate with the community where it all started. Surrounded by nearly 60 wedding guests and hundreds of event attendees, the couple felt it was meaningful to have the community as a part of their ceremony. As Tom Wolter said, “Why not celebrate with the city just like we did that night”.

The Rochester Downtown Alliance staff was thrilled when the couple inquired about the possibility of holding their wedding ceremony during Thursdays on First. It had never been done before. It was a picturesque sight on a beautiful Thursday afternoon with the sun shining and the Peace Plaza Fountain in the background. The ceremony was well received by all who attended and created a memorable night for all.  This first-of-its-kind wedding celebration is another reason why “Downtown Rochester is -- the Place to BE!” 

Tags: Thursdays on first & 3rd


Life of an Intern - A Change in the Weather

Posted on June 19,2013

It’s amazing how the simplest of things can have an absolutely astounding impact.  We have had two Thursdays on First so far, and these two events have been more opposite than I can adequately describe.  Fire and ice? Honey and vinegar? Harry Potter and Twilight? All similes fall short of the magnitude of contrast needed to bring this point home.  Although our first week had a better turnout than what was expected, the second week (June 13) blew away all expectations with what was sure to be a record breaking crowd.  At the end of the day, I find myself wondering, what factors contributed to this stark change from one week to the next?

Now, the easy answer would be the weather on the 13th of June was beautiful (Sunny with a light breeze and temperatures in the mid-70s) and people were simply itching to get outside.  But I can’t help but believe that there is more to this than meets the eye. 

I have come to gather that Rochester Downtown Alliance is not small potatoes in the garden of nonprofits.  They operate like a serious business, with unique motivations focused on serving the downtown area and Rochester community.  I fully believe that the multitudes at Thursdays on First did not end up there by happenstance, or simply because the weather was agreeable, but instead because of a well-planned out strategy that is continually unfolding year after year.  It would not surprise me if Thursdays like the 13th of June become the norm, instead of just an exceptional day.

Tags: Thursdays on first & 3rd | Life of an Intern | Events


Life of an Intern - The First of First and 3rd

Posted on June 12,2013

Last week was the first official Thursdays on First and 3rd and my first official experience working behind the scenes of this enormous event.  Although the festival doesn’t start until 11am, our day began at 6:30am, an hour I haven’t had to pay attention to for a long time… 

As I was walking up to the Peace Plaza to meet the other Rochester Downtown Alliance staff members at the information kiosk, I can remember three key emotions overwhelming me; anxiety, terror and excitement.  Anxiety because I had never done most of the tasks I had been assigned, and I didn’t want to mess up royally on the first go around.  Terror because I knew I would be without the aid and advice of the RDA staff for a majority of the morning load-in process.  Lastly, excitement because despite the fear and nerves, I knew this was exactly where I wanted to be.

Growing up, I was never the girl who had her wedding day all planned out by age 10, nor was I ever on the prom committee, or even fundraising for student counsel, but somehow I often found myself organizing and coordinating nonetheless.  Although I always enjoyed bringing people together through events and activities, I never thought of it as a career option.  College, thankfully, changed that.  After a year of attempting to convince myself that clinical lab science was my calling, I finally dropped that illusion once intro to chemistry kicked my butt… for the second time.  I quickly switched to Communications and never looked back.

Tags: Entertainment | Thursdays on first & 3rd | Life of an Intern | Events


Life of an Intern - Gearing Up

Posted on June 5,2013

Hello, my name is Raquel Grad and I am the RDA intern for the summer of 2013.  I have had some interaction with RDA events over the past year, but I am excited to begin learning what happens behind the curtain.  I have been coming to the offices of RDA now for almost 3 weeks and already I have learned and experienced so much.  What I find most fascinating so far is how hands-on the staff is with every event they host and assist with.  All the staff members I work with have gone out on several occasions to walk events spaces, monitor events and gather necessary supplies for events.  It doesn’t matter if it’s a weekend, during office hours or late in the evening, the staff is dedicated to making sure things run smooth. 

It’s no surprise that event planning is a hands-on occupation, but the dedication of the RDA members goes above and beyond expectations.  One of my first personal experiences with this happened on Friday, May 31st.  Beginning at 8am, RDA staff and volunteers began work on stuffing 5,000 bags to hand out during Thursdays on First and 3rd.  The morning began with transporting box after box of sponsor materials from the basement storage room to an offsite location, then, of course, unloading them all in our work space.  All of this was done exclusively by staff personnel.  Then the real fun began.  After staff finished setting up four assembly lines, the volunteers began showing up for their assigned shifts and things really got rolling.  Staff and volunteers walked back and forth, stuffing bags, dropping them off and beginning again in an efficient, flowing loop. 

Tags: Entertainment | Thursdays on first & 3rd | Life of an Intern | Events


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