September 19 – Monte Imming easily maneuvered Murphy, Cooper and Boji through Peace Plaza on Saturday morning.
The three golden retrievers enthusiastically mingled with the other dogs on a leash at the Rochester Downtown Alliance’s Dogs Downtown event, but it wasn’t Imming’s first stop of the day.
“I’ve done the (Rochester) Farmers Market before,” the Rochester resident said, adding that he would probably stop by the Med City Arts Festival before leaving downtown.
The dog event and the art festival were two of four events that took place in downtown Rochester on Saturday, and countless more took place across the city and region, on a perfect day at the early fall.
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The Saturday afternoon and evening also featured the Rochester Mobility Fair on the block across from the Rochester Public Library, which highlighted transportation options, and the third summer night market, featuring a variety food and entertainment at Mayo Civic Center and Rochester. Art center.
So many events, it was almost impossible to pick just one.
“It’s nice to have a lot of stuff to do,” said Austin’s Kara Heimer, who was at the art festival en route to Dogs Downtown with her sons, Noah and Knox.
Colleen Swygman of Stewartville, who works in downtown Rochester, said she rarely visits on weekends but has so much to do that Saturday’s visit was worth it as she watched her grandson Tatum create art at the gallery booth 24 on Southwest First Avenue before her and Tatum. took her chihuahua, Stewie, to Peace Plaza to be with the other dogs.
“Since we are coming from out of town, it’s good,” she said of the extra activity.
Later that evening, Rochester resident Bridget Bordelon said the night market was what drew her downtown. After missing the first two events, she didn’t want to let the third go by without visiting the cultural event.
“It’s good to have an event to come downtown, because I don’t come as often as I could,” she said.
Holly Masek, executive director of the Rochester Downtown Alliance, said the goal was to continue adding weekend activities downtown, and Saturday’s busy schedule demonstrated the potential benefits as people and dogs filled Peace Plaza and others strolled down First Avenue for art shows and even more took in the mobility show exhibits or the night market.
“I think downtown has reached the point we were hoping for, where people really see it as an extremely central, accessible and fun place to host an event,” she said.
She said it also allows easy access to other Saturday events, such as Porchfest at Kutzky Park, which means people can find an entire day of activities without long journeys.
“The mobility fair really highlights how accessible the city center is,” she added, noting that the amenities for bicycles and pedestrians, electric scooters and increased transportation possibilities in common mean fewer people have to worry about the car if they want to enjoy downtown activities.
Nick Lemmer, Marketing and Outreach Coordinator for Rochester Public Transit, said holding the mobility fair as the third and final summer night market was brewing was intentional, to get more people to consider options for getting around the city center.
He said it paid off with a few hundred people stopping by after attending one of the events nearby or at the library.
Tiffany Alexandria, who organized the night market to offer a variety of food and entertainment, said she appreciates the popularity of the event encouraging others to add activities downtown, but she also cited the desire for greater coordination.
“I just wish we could all work a little better together,” she said.
Julie Johns, organizer of the Med City Arts festival, also expressed the wish for greater collaboration. She hopes to join the marketing efforts with Dogs Downtown and any other overlapping event next year.
Tanner Nelson, who discovered the art festival on the way to Dogs Downtown with his family and pet, said it was a nice addition to the day. The space of the square seems ideal for multiple events, he said.
“I like the layout of this one,” he said of the Peace Plaza and First Avenue connection.