Month: June 2024

Twenty Years of Celebrating Rochester: Thursdays Downtown is Back

Crowd of people on 1st Avenue SWOne of our community’s favorite summer activities, Thursdays Downtown, is back for another exciting season. This year marks the 20th anniversary of this beloved gathering, still as popular as ever, with 15,000 visitors expected each week. Originally started in 2004 to attract visitors to Rochester, Thursdays Downtown has become a summer mainstay not only for out-of-town guests but also for those of us who live, work, and play downtown, enjoying all that Rochester has to offer.

Made possible by the Rochester Downtown Alliance, Thursdays Downtown has something for everyone, no matter what you are in the mood for.

In the mood to shop? Check out local vendors.

Shopping local is a great way to support and get to know your community. The 2024 list of vendors is available in the Thursdays Downtown event guide, with details on all the offerings and the dates vendors will be downtown. From beautifully designed (and environmentally friendly) Biyaya Bags to the unique, handmade perfumes of Osmofolia, children’s books by author and illustrator Kutie Kari, and fun wine-tasting events with Four Daughters Vineyard and Winery. Each week offers a different selection of vendors, so you can plan your walk ahead of time with the event layout guide to make sure you get to everyone. Vendors selling organic products are also indicated in the guide. You can also stop and shop at the Galleria at University Square, a short walk away from the festivities. Find a new shop or return for an old favorite!

Thai Pop food standHungry?

You’re guaranteed to leave stuffed. Stop by for lunch or after a long day of work! With a rotating selection of food vendors, you’re sure to find something delicious. Whether you’re in the mood for tacos or Thai food, pizza, or something sweet, you’ll find it downtown. The event guide indicates vendors selling organic and naturally grown products. Food vendors include Little Thistle Brewing, Popus Gourmet Popcorn, Benedict’s and many more.

Looking to kick back and listen to music?

Thursdays Downtown’s entertainment is weekend-worthy. Musicians will perform on the 1st Ave and Peace Plaza stages starting at 11Band onstage a.m. with a break in the afternoon and return in the evening from 5 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Musicians from a variety of genres will take the stage, including performances from Mariachi Estrella MN, The Soul Train, Uptown Jazz and more. Whether you are stopping by on a lunch break with coworkers or spending an evening out on the town, your ears – and dancing shoes, if you’re up for it – are in for a treat!

Check out the entertainment calendar to plan ahead.

Planning on bringing the kids?

The Family Nook, presented by Mayo Clinic, will feature fun for the kids, including arts and crafts, games, music and more. There will also be a sensory area where children can take a break in a calming environment. Kids can also explore the main event to grab a sweet treat or a gift from a vendor.

Can’t wait for the weekend? Neither can we. That’s why we’ll see you at Thursdays Downtown!

Thursdays Downtown will continue weekly until August 15, except July 4.

Destination Medical Center is contributing to the vibrancy and diversity of Rochester’s downtown by helping attract new dining, retail, and entertainment options everyone can enjoy. Learn more at Destination Medical Center | A Global Destination for Health & Wellness (