Frequently Asked Questions

General Peace Plaza Information
What are the hours of the Peace Plaza?

The Peace Plaza opens at 8:00 AM and closes at 11:00 PM. The  Peace Plaza is considered a city park, so events in the Peace Plaza must adhere to these hours with no exceptions.

How large is the Peace Plaza?

The Peace Plaza is broken up into 3 sections. You may rent one, two, or all three sections of the plaza for your event. Click here for map of Peace Plaza sections and description.

Is there smoking allowed on the Peace Plaza?
Smoking is prohibited on the Peace Plaza. Violators may be ticketed.
Are there restrooms in the Plaza to use for our event?
There are no public restrooms on the plaza. The RDA will evaluate the event and determine if  portable restroom units are required for the event. You, the renter, at your sole expense, will be responsible for obtaining and removing portable restrooms for the event. Portable restrooms must be removed by 8 AM the day following the completion of the event. The RDA will provide the permit holder with a list of vendors able to provide, service, and remove portable restrooms.
Do you offer catering services? Can I bring in the caterer of my choice?
The Rochester Downtown Alliance (RDA) works with a number of pre-qualified caterers who have experience working with events located in the Peace Plaza. The catering list offers a wide variety of food and beverages to choose from and caterers provide a high level of service to our renters. Please click HERE for a list of these great caterer businesses and how to contact them.

Event Day Logistics

What type of insurance is my event required to carry?
You, (the renter) must provide the following minimum insurance coverage for their event: Public Liability: $1,000,000 per occurrence; $2,000,000 aggregate, Automobile: $1,000,000 per incident or injury, Workers Compensation: $500,000 per incident or injury. The renter must provide RDA with certificates of insurance naming the City of Rochester and the RDA as additional insured. Please note: Most businesses already have this, so please obtain a copy from your business or employer. This is necessary if any type of employees will be working at the event. Liquor Liability insurance will be required from all restaurants or bars serving food or alcohol at an event. All catering companies must carry the minimum required insurance. All of the pre-qualified caters we have a contract with have at least the minimum coverage and the RDA makes sure this coverage is up to date.
Who is in charge of organizing, set-up and cleaning of the event?
You are responsible for all employed vendors and suppliers at the event. You or a representative for your event must be present to supervise the event as well as the event set-up, tear-down and management of site clean-up. Load-in/tear-down must occur between the hours of 7 AM and 11 PM when the Peace Plaza is open. The RDA and the City of Rochester staff will not assist in the event set-up or tear-down. Events are subject to a $150 (per day) fee for an event coordinator to be available.
Who takes care of garbage and recycling at the event?
The RDA will evaluate the event and will help determine the number of additional trash containers necessary to accommodate the event. You (the renter), at your sole expense, will make arrangements for the removal of all trash and debris generated by the event. RDA will provide you with contact information for vendors able to provide this service. Waste receptacles must be removed by 8 AM the day following the completion of the event. The renter will be responsible for leaving the plaza site, and the surrounding area impacted by event, clear of all trash and debris.
Can I drive and park a vehicle on the Peace Plaza during my event or while I set-up?
No. Unless authorized by the Parks and Recreation Department, there is no vehicle traffic allowed on the Peace Plaza. Any vehicle driving on the Peace Plaza will be subject to possible ticketing and towage which is at the sole expense of the owner of the vehicle. The event organizers will also be responsible for any damage incurred to the Peace Plaza surface or lighting as a result of vehicles associated with their event driving on the Peace Plaza. Items used by the event organizers and third party vendors must be carted onto the Plaza, with vehicles utilizing the surrounding city loading zones.

Music & Peace Plaza Sound

What types of entertainment can I have? A band? A DJ?
A live band or a DJ are both great entertainment options and are welcome in the Peace Plaza. If you have other ideas for entertainment, then please discuss this with Karli McElroy and the RDA can look to see if additional permitting is needed.The plaza also has an in-house sound system, so you may bring an iPod or a laptop to plug-in. We also offer XM Satellite radio (included in rental cost) as well.
What type of sound system do you have?
The RDA has an in-house sound system with a standard 3.5mm audio input jack (fits most smartphones, tablets, & MP3 players), XM Satellite radio, and 4 wireless microphones. There are speakers located throughout the plaza which can be controlled from the information kiosk located by the Peace Plaza fountain. If you would like to use this system for your event, then please let the RDA know no less than 1 week prior to your event so we can schedule an overview of the sound equipment with you or your production team.
Can our DJ or band plug their equipment into the Peace Plaza sound system?
No, our in-house sound system may only be used with our in-house CD player, XM radio, wireless microphone, and iPod jack. DJ’s and bands will need to bring their own sound equipment with them.
How late can music be played at my event?
Any amplified sound used for live entertainment or announcements must be kept at or below 85 decibels as per City Ordinance 45D.01. Subd. 2, until 9 PM, then turned down to 60 decibels until 10 PM and cease thereafter. No exceptions.
Plaza & Event Decorations
Can I decorate the day before my wedding or event?
All decorating must be done during your rental time. If you wish to rent the plaza the day before your wedding or event, there are different rental times you may choose from. However, renting the plaza for a full day generally allows for plenty of time to decorate.
Can I change or remove any of the existing decorations/fixtures/stage in the Peace Plaza?
The city banners, holiday décor and benches are part of the Peace plaza and cannot be removed or changed for your event. The Peace Plaza stage and canopy used for Thursdays Downtown is typically set-up at the end of May and taken down at the beginning of September. There is no cost to use the stage if is set-up, but the cost to take down or put up the stage is approx. $1000 and based on availability to set-up or remove. Also, there are typically sponsor logos that are featured on the canopy for Thursdays Downtown and these cannot be removed.
Do you allow rice, silly string or confetti on the Peace Plaza?
These items can be used during your event, but with the rental of the plaza you do agree to leave the plaza in the same condition upon renting it. All garbage or waste must be cleaned up immediately following completion of the rental. If the Peace Plaza surface, grass or any of the structures are left dirty, littered damaged, or vandalized by the event, then the renter assumes liability for costs of clean-up and/or damage and repairs. The city of Rochester and the RDA would make arrangements to determine the extent of the clean-up and/or damage and the renter would be responsible for all costs associated with these services.
Can I hang string lights or a chandelier in the Peace Plaza for my event?
Yes. If you would like to have string lights or a chandelier in the Peace Plaza for your event they must be installed and removed by a professional lighting company. Insurance from the lighting company which names the RDA and City of Rochester as additionally insured must be obtained prior to the lights being hung. If you would like to hang string lights in the plaza or a chandelier from the skyway in the Peace Plaza, then special permission must also be obtained prior to hanging it for your event. The RDA can help you obtain permission, refer you to a company that is familiar with hanging lighting in the Peace Plaza, and obtain their insurance. Please note: special permission to hang a chandelier and lights is not guaranteed.
Can I use candles or fireworks at my event?
Pyrotechnic displays are strictly prohibited. No open fires are permitted. Candles are allowed but must be in containers to capture wax.

Weather & Tents

What happens if there is inclement weather during my event?
Securing a weather-related back-up site is the sole responsibility of the renter and event organizers. There are no refunds due to inclement weather.
Can I set up a tent on the Peace Plaza?
Yes, but if the tent is over 200 square ft. or you are utilizing heating elements in your tent, then you must complete an application for a tent permit (provided by the RDA). The cost for this permit is $50 and can be made out to the ‘City of Rochester-RFD.’ The RDA will provide you with the application and can submit the completed application to the Fire Marshall’s office on your behalf. Only weighted tents or canopies are allowed on the plaza. No staking is permitted. The RDA can also provide a list of vendors experienced with set-up and teardown of tents in the plaza.
My vendor says they need to set up the tent the day before and take down the tent the day after our rental - is that allowed?
Possibly, your vendor will be contacted for a estimate of time for set-up and take down for the tent - any additional time will result in additional rental fees. Set-up and tear down of a tent is subject to availability on the rental calendar. It is important to plan ahead and notify the RDA that you plan to use a tent so that it may be included on your Special Events permit application to the City of Rochester.