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City of Rochester suspends large public events through August 16

ROCHESTER, Minn. (FOX47) -- The City of Rochester has announced it is suspending all large public events in City facilities and on City grounds through August 16 due the COVID-19 pandemic.

The announcement came on Friday, the same day the Minnesota State Fair was officially canceled.

The City said this new guidance specifically impacts three summer events:

  • The Rochester Police Department's "Safe City Nights" program
  • Rochester Civic Music’s “Down by the Riverside” and “forWARD” free concert series
  • Rochester Downtown Alliance’s “Thursdays Downtown” street market and music festival.

“This decision was not made without great thought and consideration. We continue to maintain a focus on the health and safety of our community," City Administrator Steve Rymer said in a news release. "Teammates will work with local organizations to identifying creative opportunities to create and celebrate our community while we navigate the ongoing impacts of this unprecedented pandemic."

The City said it will continue to monitor public health conditions with Olmsted County Public Health and will share more information as it becomes available.

"While it is unfortunate that we will not be able to go forward with these events in their typical format, it is the best decision we can make to keep everyone safe," Mayor Kim Norton said. "We know community events add such vibrancy to our community and we are working hard on alternative opportunities."  

Nicole Valinote

Social Media and Digital Content Manager

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