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Thinking Thursdays: What makes Rochester so great

As I write this, it’s a cool 64 degrees outside. It’s overcast, and the first of the fall apples are in a bowl on the table. I don’t think it’s officially Fall by any stretch of the imagination, but it certainly feels like we’re getting a taste of it. The other way that I know that autumn is quickly approaching, besides the “Going Back to School” sales and the Halloween decorations up at Hobby Lobby, is that this week is the last Thursdays on First & Third of the season.

When I started blogging in June, the summer seemed to stretch on forever. If I’ve learned anything from blogging all summer, it’s that there’s plenty to say about Thursdays on First & Third.

I loved being able to try all of the delicious foods, check out the beautiful crafts, and enjoy all of the talented musicians and performers. However, if I had to pick a personal favorite, I would say that the best part of Thursdays on First & Third was getting a chance to talk to the vendors.

In past years, I’ve chatted a little bit with the vendors as I wandered through the market, but one of the advantages of blogging is I have a great reason to strike up conversation with vendors whose booths caught my attention. And you know what? It was so rewarding to hear all about how vendors from all around south-eastern Minnesota (some even farther!) discovered their passion for the product they were making -- from food to soap to carving wood. It was, and I don’t use this word lightly, inspiring.

It was inspiring because I was able to see the hard work and dedication of vendors who genuinely cared about what they were crafting, whether this was their first or tenth year at the market, and it made me appreciate their commitment. And, it was fun. It was fun to feel more connected and to have a better sense of the community that makes up Rochester. So, as we go into the last week of Thursdays on First & Third for 2015, my challenge to you is to strike up a conversation with someone--anyone--and find out a little bit about what makes Rochester so great. Because in the end, that’s the whole reason for attending Thursdays, right?


Jane Funk is a blogger, educator, reader, and nap-taking enthusiast and is the guest blogger for the summer downtown Rochester blog series Thinking Thursdays with Jane Funk.


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