The last weekend of the summer is a big one in Rochester

Saturday features about 30 different live music performances, four downtown events and two beer festivals in Rochester.

Ashley Olmstead and her daughter Cecelia and great Dane Winston pause for a snack Saturday, Aug. 8, 2019, at the annual Dogs Downtown event.
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Looking for something to do Saturday? It might be more efficient to make a list of things you won’t be able to get to.

The last Saturday of (astronomical) summer is crammed with events as the sun begins to set early and the season for regular outdoor events inches toward a close. More than 20 live music acts are playing in Rochester and two breweries are holding all-day festivals.

Four large events are taking place downtown — three of them overlapping. The Med City Arts Festival returns to downtown at First Avenue Southwest and Third Street from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Dogs Downtown is an easy jaunt away in Peace Plaza from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. From 1 p.m. to 6 p.m., Destination Medical Center Economic Development Agency is hosting a mobility fair where people can get a glimpse of a model of the planned bus rapid transit stations for a new 2.6 mile rapid transit route through downtown from Cascade Lake.

Dylan Tribute Hendrickson.JPG
Luke Hendrickson performs at Taco JED on Monday, May 24, 2021, in honor of Bob Dylan's 80th birthday. (John Molseed /


Finally, not entirely overlapping with the other downtown events, the Rochester Art Center hosts the third and final Night Market of the season from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Adjacent to that, Rochester Civic Theatre is holding a performance of "Always... Patsy Cline ."

Holly Masek, executive director of the Rochester Downtown Alliance, said she isn't concerned that the events might stress downtown travel and parking.

“It's going to be a great opportunity for people to realize how walkable and accessible downtown really is,“ she said.

People can access the downtown events by foot and even walk to Porchfest. Her advice:

“Park once,“ she said.

Just outside of downtown, Kutzky Park Porchfest features nine musical acts on the porches, naturally, of nine Kutzky Park neighborhood homes from 2:30 to 4:45 p.m.

If that’s not enough live music for you, Thesis Beer Project has a full day of music scheduled with Punktoberfest beginning at 2 p.m. The event combines their release of German-style Oktoberfest beers with a lineup of seven fast, loud punk bands.


“We’re trying to find a creative way to combine a traditional celebration of German beer and a type of music you don’t hear very often in Rochester,” said Adam Fredericksen, co-owner of Thesis.

The music is currently set to be performed indoors.

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Thesis Beer Project

The short sets will be played indoors and headlined by the Shackletons. Thesis will have 10 German-style beers available through the day, including barrel-aged versions.

If that beer selection isn’t enough, Forager is celebrating its sixth anniversary with Foragerfest. That all-day event features live music, craft booths and a variety of barrel-aged beers including one rested on Oaxaca Chicatanas, a species of leaf-cutter ant found in central and southern Mexico. Vendors will be there from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Music will be on the outdoor stage from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sleeping Jesus headlines the six-band lineup.

If those music options don't strike a chord, the History Center of Olmsted County is holding a hootenanny with a bluegrass and country music lineup featuring Root River Jam, Luke Hendrikson and the Crop Circles and Becky Schlegel. That starts at 2 p.m.

Later music options include Radio Edit at North Star Bar. Doors open at 9 p.m. The Walking Beat performs at Taco Jed with music starting there about 7 p.m.

Related Topics: ROCHESTER
John Molseed joined the Post Bulletin in 2018. He covers arts, culture, entertainment, nature and other fun stories he's surprised he gets paid to cover. When he's not writing articles about Southeast Minnesota artists and musicians, he's either picking banjo, brewing beer, biking or looking for other hobbies that begin with the letter "b." Readers can reach John at 507-285-7713 or
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