View All Press Releases

Dogs Downtown and Harvest Festival Canceled in 2020

Release Date: August 14, 2020

Media Contact: Katie Adelman
Rochester Downtown Alliance
Direct: 507-216-9886



Dogs Downtown and Harvest Festival Canceled in 2020

ROCHESTER, Minn.—The Rochester Downtown Alliance will cancel Dogs Downtown and Harvest Festival (formerly Fall Fest) in 2020 in response to COVID-19.

“As with every difficult decision we have made this year, we carefully weighed our community desire for togetherness at this challenging time against continued public health concerns,” said Holly Masek, RDA executive director. “While we had hoped for a return of events by fall, our number one priority is always safety.”

RDA’s fall event cancellations are in keeping with Minnesota’s current Stay Safe Plan, which states that outdoor events and entertainment “must not exceed 250 people.” Dogs Downtown and Harvest drew crowds of approximately 9,900 and 8,200 people, respectively, in 2019.

“Entering a new year, we were making plans to move Dogs Downtown from the dog days of summer to a cooler month and to transform Fall Fest into a more experiential event now known as Harvest Festival in 2020,” said Monika Kopet, RDA director of events and strategic partnerships. “We’ll wait for better times to debut and celebrate these exciting changes in person with the Rochester community.”

RDA staff will continue to focus on other program areas to promote and enhance downtown, including RDA’s new Clean and Safe Ambassador program, improvements to Peace Plaza and Central Park, assisting restaurants with patio extensions, marketing, and grant making.

RDA staff will continue to monitor city, state, and national events and activities updates and recommendations when it comes to adjusting the Here Comes Santa Claus event scheduled for November 28. A decision will be made and announced by September 28.

For up to date event information, visit

Media inquiries and interview requests can be directed to Katie Adelman, RDA director of content and communications, at

About Dogs Downtown
Dogs Downtown is a canine-centric event with pup-friendly activities, games, and giveaways. More than a thousand dogs and 9,000 of their human companions attend Dogs Downtown.

About Harvest Festival (formerly Fall Fest)
Rebranded from Fall Fest, Harvest Festival is an interactive autumnal experience of the sights, sounds, and smells of the season. With fan-favorite activities like the pick-your-own pumpkin patch and new adventures like apple cider tastings, Harvest Festival unites fall lovers of all ages.

About the Rochester Downtown Alliance
The Rochester Downtown Alliance is a nonprofit corporation comprised of a broad range of people representing property owners, business leaders, the city and others with a direct stake in enhanced business and economic development conditions in the downtown district. We work together to build a vibrant downtown community. We believe a strong core positively impacts the greater city of Rochester. Through a series of special events, activities, and initiatives, we create energy, excitement, and a unique character to Downtown Rochester, Minnesota.