Area businesses see success during Thursdays Downtown

(ABC 6 News) – As the summer is nearing a close, so is Thursdays Downtown. Next week, August 18, will be the last event for the summer, and area businesses say it’s been a successful season.

The past two years have been difficult for downtown businesses and for Thursdays, given pandemic restrictions and construction in the area. But, this summer people once again filled the streets of downtown Rochester.

"It’s been wildly successful, we were able to have a bigger footprint this year. People are ready to be welcomed back, it’s been a great season so far," said Downtown Alliance Director of Events Kanika Couchene.

And there may be another reason people keep showing up.

"As people have noticed we’ve had some celebrity sightings as well, which has helped," Couchene added.

The success has also brought a lot of business to downtown restaurants like Victoria’s Ristorante and Wine Bar.

"Many patients plan their stays to Rochester around Thursdays Downtown, we hear that all the time. It’s another great way for locals to come downtown and experience downtown if they have been way for a while or they haven’t been down here," said Victoria’s co-owner Natalie Victoria.

With large events, safety is always a concern, but Rochester police say they’re happy to report the summer long event has been very uneventful for officers.

"We’ve had a couple of small incidences or disorderly conduct, basically it’s been very uneventful. Families come down here, people come down here, the purpose is just to have a good time, see some vendors, enjoy the city. This summer has been very successful and a very safe event," Rochester Police Officer James Ratelle said.

Thursdays Downtown is located along 1st Ave. SW, 3rd St. SW and Peace Plaza in downtown Rochester. Food, vendors and live music go from 11 am. until 8:30 p.m., and Thursday, August 18 is the last event for the season.