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Social-ICE rescheduled, adapted to be called Social Lights amid COVID-19 surge

Release Date: January 12, 2022

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



Social-ICE rescheduled, adapted to be called Social Lights amid COVID-19 surge

ROCHESTER, Minn.—Social-ICE February 3-5 is being rescheduled and adapted to keep the community safe as Olmsted County sees an increase in COVID-19 cases.

The Rochester Downtown Alliance, in collaboration with participating downtown bars/restaurants and with guidance from Olmsted County Public Health and Mayo Clinic, is rescheduling the event from February 3-5 to March 3-5, 2022.

In keeping with the spirit of Social-ICE and taking into consideration COVID-19 circumstances, this year’s event is being adapted to Social Lights, which features the traditional format of Social-ICE and incorporates exciting new elements.

“Our community needs something to look forward to now more than ever,” said Kanika Couchene, RDA director of events & strategic partnerships. “Equally important is offering the community a place to interact for their well-being and providing an opportunity to support downtown businesses in the process all the while keeping everyone safe. Rescheduling and adapting Social-ICE is a solution that addresses all these aspects.”

With feedback from the participating bars, RDA staff is reimagining a visually stunning event with wow-factor lighting and forgoing cold-weather-dependent components like ice to include the following elements:

  • DJs/music
  • Keep individual bars’ themes and specialty drinks
  • Colorful, interactive lighting
  • Experiential activities
  • Photo station
  • Fire pits
  • Large-scale entrance

Six downtown bars and restaurants initially participating in Social-ICE—Cameo at the Castle, Chester’s Kitchen and Bar, Kathy’s Pub, Olde Brick House, The Tap House on Historic 3rd St, and Victoria’s Ristorante and Wine Bar—have shown support for this new community event by signing on as a participating Social Lights themed bar.

“Chester’s Kitchen and Bar is looking forward to honoring our first responders. It is with these people in mind we gladly support the recommendations of our local health department that the event be rescheduled for the safety of our staff and our community,” said Henry Clarin, Chester’s Kitchen and Bar director of operations.

RDA will continue to collaborate with Olmsted County Public Health regarding the latest COVID-19 guidelines and adjust plans as needed.

In 2021, Social-ICE was adapted to a passive, physically distanced winter experience to keep the community safe and included a Buy a Meal, Give a Meal restaurant campaign to safely support downtown businesses.

Keep up-to-date as more Social Lights 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.