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Thursdays Downtown Changes Amid COVID-19

Release Date: April 8, 2020

Media Contact: Katie Adelman
Rochester Downtown Alliance
Direct: (507) 216-9882



Thursdays Downtown Changes Amid COVID-19

ROCHESTER, Minn.—After discussion with various community groups and partners, local government, members of the healthcare community, and national industry peers, the Rochester Downtown Alliance is canceling the June dates of Thursdays Downtown and reducing the event footprint.

The following decisions have been made regarding Thursdays Downtown:

  • The June dates of the Thursdays Downtown are canceled.
    • At this time, the event series will begin July 2 and end August 27, reducing the summer market to nine weeks.
  • The event footprint will be reduced.
    • The event layout will utilize 1st Avenue Southwest—between 2nd Street Southwest and 4th Street Southwest—and 3rd Street Southwest—from 3rd Street alley to 1st Avenue Southwest.
    • There will be one stage in the same location as in the past (near the 1st Avenue Southwest and 3rd Street Southwest intersection).
  • The Rochester Downtown Alliance will not collect vendors’ market fees or partnership fees until a confirmed event start date is set.

“Like most event producers, we are facing a painful dilemma,” said Holly Masek, Rochester Downtown Alliance executive director. “How can we optimistically plan for the community celebrations and small business marketplaces that are so badly needed right now, while respecting the evolving public health crisis and economic challenges that are all around us? Delaying the start date of Thursdays Downtown and reducing the event footprint will give us the best chance of producing a quality event series, while minimizing financial risk to all involved and keeping us nimble enough to respond to changing public health guidelines.”

The RDA is also exploring options to reduce physical crowding at the event and create alternative opportunities for vendors to earn revenue. Some of the options being explored are:

  • Creating a Thursdays Downtown online marketplace to allow vendors additional revenue opportunities
  • Disbursing sections of the event to reduce crowding
  • Programming smaller musical acts throughout the day rather than large bands at lunchtime and during the evening hours to reduce crowding of both musicians and attendees

“As always, our greatest priority at events is public health and safety. We will continue to monitor local, state, and national recommendations around events and will be prepared to adjust as needed,” said Masek.

Stay current on the latest Thursdays Downtown event announcements here.

For more information about the Thursdays Downtown summer market, contact Monika Kopet, RDA director of events and strategic partnerships, at


About Thursdays Downtown
Thursdays Downtown combines arts, music, food and a vendor market into one free community-uniting, block-party-style event. Coming into its 16th season in 2020, it has grown into a large music and arts festival that draws 20,000+ people and approximately 115 unique vendors.

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.