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Improv-ICE, an adaptation of the annual SocialICE, set for February 2021

Release Date: December 22, 2020

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



Improv-ICE, an adaptation of the annual SocialICE, set for February 2021

ROCHESTER, Minn.—Improv-ICE, an adaptation of SocialICE in downtown Rochester, is planned with a large community ice sculpture and other physically-distanced opportunities for February 2021.

The Rochester Downtown Alliance is modifying its annual ice festival event, SocialICE, which draws estimated crowds between 38,000 and 67,500 people, to be responsive to COVID-19 guidelines. The event will feature physically distanced winter opportunities including an ice sculpture design competition and restaurant take-out initiative.

“COVID-19 has pushed everyone to get creative with their businesses, programs, and operations – developing something fun yet safe. Creating a feeling of togetherness at a distance,” said Holly Masek, executive director of the Rochester Downtown Alliance. “We’re leaning into the spirit of adaptation and improvisation that the pandemic has demanded of us all. Hence: ‘Improv-ICE’, a one-time community ice event that celebrates Rochester’s continued creativity and resilience.”

Improv-ICE, in compliance with current COVID-19 restrictions and conditions, will offer several opportunities for individuals to engage with downtown in person or at a distance:

  • Community-designed ice sculpture: Community members are encouraged to submit designs to inspire a central, large sculpture to be displayed in Peace Plaza. Submissions are open through December 29, 2020, and voting will be open through January 3, 2021.
  • Partner photo-station sculptures: Event partners will design their own photo station ice sculptures to also be displayed in Peace Plaza.
  • Week-long display: Sculptures will be displayed from February 4 through 11, 2021, weather permitting. Visitors may watch sculptures being carved prior to the event.
  • Restaurant purchase matching grant initiative: To encourage purchases at downtown food and beverage businesses during dining restrictions, RDA is seeking donors to match take-out and gift card purchases made in January. The matching funds will be donated to provide meals for those in need in Rochester.
  • Social media and marketing tie-ins: RDA will be asking the community how they’ve Improv-ICEd in response to this challenging year.

“2020 has been difficult for many, and we are happy to be able to offer something for the community to look forward to in 2021 while supporting our downtown restaurant community,” said Monika Kopet, RDA director of events and strategic partnership. “We are making this a safe walking experience for the community to enjoy and to encourage them to shop local and order take-out in the downtown we love so much.”

The ice sculptures will remain on display from February 4 to February 11, 2021, weather permitting.

Photo station sponsorships, Wall of ICE partnerships, donation opportunities, and other partnerships are still available. To get involved in and partner with RDA on Improv-ICE, contact Monika Kopet at by December 31, 2020.

Keep up-to-date as Improv-ICE details are released by visiting and following Downtown Rochester, Minnesota on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

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.