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Event Connects

If you're among the chorus that chimes, "There's nothing to do in Rochester," one event alone could be having you singing a new tune.

Based on the idea that seeing is believing, Rochester Connects is a new event designed to promote the many signature and ongoing events put on by local civic, nonprofit and sporting organizations.

"The goal is to highlight everything that there is to do in Rochester," said Sarah Kelling, director of communications for the University of Minnesota Rochester , which is hosting the new event.

The event will be set up much like any other event. There will be catered appetizers and a cash bar. Prizes, including a gift pack with a hotel stay, dinner and tickets to the event of your choice, will also be given away, Kelling said.

The main draw will be learning about all of the other ways you can get out and about in Rochester.

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Among the many events that you'll be invited to during Rochester Connects are:

• Several new events to promote the Zip Rail.

St. John's Block Party , July 8-9, hosted by St. John The Evangelist Catholic Church.

• A Taste of Rochester, a new event coming up Sept. 17 at Soldiers Field.

• Million Dollar Hole-in-One Shoot Out held each summer to benefit the Rochester Senior Center .

• Poker Face, Fuel Rochester 's annual Halloween party.

• Concerts by the Honors Choirs of Southeast Minnesota .

• Thursdays on First and Third, the market and music series hosted by the Rochester Downtown Alliance .

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Rochester Honkers baseball games.

All of the events promoted are open to the public, Kelling said, noting that organizers didn't invite groups that require membership to attend events. And none of the events are the traditional go-to places like bars, restaurants or movie theaters.

Putting together the list of organizations to invite was difficult because there is no good compiled list out there of groups like this, Kelling said.

Nonetheless Kelling said organizers knew the interest was there after a similar type of event was held for members of Fuel Rochester, the Rochester Area Chamber of Commerce's young professionals groups in November 2009. That event drew 250 people, she said, noting that this time Rochester Connects is open to everyone who thinks there's nothing to do in Rochester.

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