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Countdown to Thursdays Downtown: Your Insider's Guide

"Great dining, fun shopping, and lots to do!" applies to everything downtown, including the community's biggest party of the season! That, of course, is Thursdays Downtown! Get ready to attend this arts, music, food, and community festival with the following countdown to Thursdays Downtown insider's guide!

  Quick Event Information

Dates and times: 11 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. every Thursday (except June 22) starting June 15 and ending August 10, 2023
Where: 1st Avenue Southwest, Peace Plaza, and 3rd Street Southwest in downtown Rochester

  Click here for an interactive Thursdays Downtown map!

The Bands

Minnesota’s crowning Prince. The upbeat beats of Latin music. A blending of soul, funk, and pop. An exhilarating fusion of Cajun and honky-tonk strings. And the sounds of Irish bluegrass. What are we describing, you ask? It is a sampling of the music you can hear at Thursdays Downtown this year! Check out this blog for a list of the 48 bands performing throughout the 2023 season.

The Vendors

With 119 vendors onsite each week (and a total of 131 unique vendors and 40 new ones throughout the season), there will always be something to look at and buy at Thursdays Downtown! Categories of vendors range from food and beverage, artisan, bakery, and more. View a map of the event and its vendors here.

Family Nook Activities

One of the newest features of Thursdays Downtown is the family-friendly area called the Mayo Clinic Family Nook. Included in 2022, the Family Nook became a wildly popular area with the youngest attendees and their families. Be on the lookout for a seasonal schedule of Mayo Clinic Family Nook activities that includes 14 different attractions soon!

Get Social

There is so much to do at Thursdays Downtown that it's too good not to share! Use #ThursdaysDowntown while in downtown Rochester for the event and you may see your post on our social (@ThursdaysDowntown on Facebook or Downtown Rochester, MN on Instagram and Twitter).


Plenty of parking exists for those attending Thursdays Downtown! Enjoy an hour of free parking (in and out of a ramp in under an hour) if a quick visit to Thursdays Downtown is all you need. Street parking and city ramps (excluding Mayo Clinic ramps) are free after 5 p.m. (no overnight parking). Or if you're riding a bike to Thursdays Downtown, there are spots available for those, too! Click here for more information. The Rochester Downtown Alliance encourages a sober ride to and from Thursdays Downtown if you plan to consume alcoholic beverages.


Don't worry: attending Thursdays Downtown is free! However, as you prepare to potentially purchase items at Thursdays Downtown, remember to bring your wallet! And while most vendors accept credit/debit cards, it would be wise to bring paper money for those that only accept cold hard cash. Visit this list of downtown banks that may have ATM machines for your last-minute convenience.


Thursdays Downtown attendee restrooms with hand-washing stations will be available for use in two locations on the event site. One is located along 1st Avenue between the Minnesota Bio Business Center and the 201 Building on the south side of the event. The other restroom location is tucked behind the Peace Plaza stage.

  Find where else there is to explore while downtown for Thursdays Downtown here.