"Thursdays Downtown" Returns for Another Summer

June 06, 2019 11:56 PM

(ABC 6 News) -- It’s got a new name, additional vendors and fresh music, but it's the same popular street festival so many look forward to each year in downtown Rochester.

Thursdays Downtown, formerly known as Thursdays on First & 3rd, has returned for another summer.

During its kickoff on Thursday, musicians of all ages set the tone and activities kept families entertained. What really brings people together, though, is the food.

At the heart of the festival is an effort to support local businesses, especially in the city’s core.

“The Castle Community invited us in, so we want to make sure that people know we are here and in the community and to come to our restaurant and come check us out,” said Danika Ohly, the co-owner of Cameo At The Castle.

Cameo At The Castle is new to Rochester; only 6 months old, so it’s also new to Thursdays Downtown. This summer, staff will be serving up a unique dish called Korean-fried Popcorn Chicken Nachos. Eager ABC 6 News employees got to try the dish and all gave it a big thumbs up.

There was a lot of food tasting that took place, but after a seemingly never-ending winter, we weren’t the only ones indulging.

Thousands of people from across the region made it out to the unofficial kick-off to summer.

“We have some fish tacos and some pizza for the little one,” said Betza Lelreich, a Rochester resident. “We look forward to getting out of the house with the kids, enjoying the community, enjoying the food and just having a blast.”

“[We had] too much snow this last winter and it’s nice to get back out in the public,” said Aaron Dibbing, a Lanesboro resident.

Thursdays Downtown has been a summer staple for 13 years. It's grown to include more than 450 vendors.

“For 2020, we are actually really excited about the new improvements that are coming to Peace Plaza,” said Karli McElroy, the senior director of placement for the Rochester Downtown Alliance. “But with those improvements, we are going to have to find a new home for Thursdays. So right now as a staff we are looking at what areas within the downtown are going to be great for the event and kind of considering all the logistics that come with such a big event.”

This year though, the location remains the same. Thursdays Downtown runs every Thursday through August, from 11 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.


Hannah Tiede

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