Amid all of the changes downtown, one question has loomed large: How much will people want to spend time downtown outside of normal business hours?
In part, the question of whether people will want to live downtown will depend on whether there are enough amenities to meet their needs. But another factor will be whether there are enough interesting activities for people to participate in.
On that count, the city is looking better and better.
Obviously, the biggest downtown, nighttime draw just wrapped up: The Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival draws thousands of people each night for nine consecutive nights right at the beginning of summer each year.
This year has also seen new and relocated events designed to get people downtown at night.
On Tuesday, the J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge moves downtown after a stint at Rochester Institute of Technology.
Also, Midtown Eats launched this year, with 20-plus food and beverage vendors taking part in a series that offers pop-up food and drink options.
While the Public Market isn’t quite downtown, events there in recent years have provided incentive to be near the center city at night: Bands on the Bricks takes place five consecutive Fridays starting next week, while Food Truck Rodeos are held the last Wednesday of each month from April through September (with a free shuttle from downtown).
And of course, the Windstream Party in the Park series—with music, food trucks and beer every Thursday through much of the summer—has been around in some form even longer than the jazz festival.
These are just some of the initiatives that are making Rochester’s center city a more interesting, vibrant place. The more options downtown can offer, especially at night, the more likely it will be able to thrive and grow.
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