Rochesterfest is a highlight of the year for the city. It is a week-long celebration which includes a parade, fireworks, food venors, street dances, and many other fun activities.
Beginning the first Monday of the festival, Civic Center Drive is converted into "food alley," where you can get loads of great fair food. This location is also the center for the entertainment activities which usually take place on or near the mainstage. Every day at noontime there is some kind of performance. Many Mayo Clinic and other downtown employees take advantage of the nice weather to spend their lunch hours at the festival during the week.
One of my favorite activities of the festival is the Hot Air Balloons - "Moonglow." This takes place at the Mayo Civic Center Circle and begins at sunset. Usually about 5 balloons are parked in the circle and when the sun goes down, they create a beautiful show with their glowing fires. There are also hotair balloon races during the weekend.
Other activities include: An old-time baseball game, Sand Castle competition, Million $ Golf Hole in One, Treasure Hunt, City Parade, Annual Midwestern Lumberjack Championships, Cemetery Walk, etc, etc.
Rochester will be held June 19-27 in 2004.
(See the website for schedule information)
Ultimate Guide to Rochester, Minnesota
I have lived in Rochester for four years, off and on. When I first found myself in this small, ultra-conservative city, I was restless and I wanted to get away from it as fast as I could. After living in Europe and returning to Rochester, I have a new found sense of appreciation for this place. Hopefully I can give you an idea of what this town is all about and what you can do to keep yourself entertained while you are here.
"Rochester City Facts:"
City Population: 85,806
Area Population: 112,900
Annual Visitors: 1.5 million
City Parks: 74
Unemployment Rate: 2.7%
Annual Job Growth: +3.5%
Four Bedroom House: $145,000
Sales Tax: 7%
Violent Crimes per 100,000 people: 254
Average Commute Time: 14 Minutes (shortest in US)
Annual Sunny Days: 200
Largest Employers: Mayo Clinic, IBM, Rochester School District
Size: 35 sq. miles
Doctor to Population Ratio: 1 to 70
Average Summer High: 84 F
Average Winter Low: 3 F
Date Founded: 1854
WFMC - World Famous Mayo Clinic
There is no official founding date for the Mayo Clinic. Mayo celebrated its Centennial in 1964, 100 years after William Worrall Mayo settled in Rochester and began his medical practice. His sons, Will and Charlie, began to aid him in his practice, and after their graduation from medical school in the 1880s they joined him in "the Drs. Mayo" practice that culminated in the sons' development of the Mayo group practice of medicine.