Rochester goes all in for Fall Fest

October 5, 2018

It’s time to sip some cider and cavort with the goats at Rochester’s third annual Fall Fest on Saturday, Oct. 6. With the smell of cinnamon in the air and fall-inspired crafts around every corner, this urban festival will put the pumpkin patch in the heart of downtown Rochester.

This is the third year that the Rochester Downtown Association (RDA) has organized Fall Fest, and it has grown to include 20 vendors. The fest will feature an inflatable slide, the Red Barn Learning Farm’s Petting Zoo, a tailgate corner complete with football toss, a kiddie farmers market, and fall crafts like decorating tote bags.

Don’t turn into a pumpkin, create one at the Fall Fest’s carving contest. From 9:30-11:30 a.m. you’ll have the opportunity to create and name your pumpkin masterpiece. Fifty-dollar downtown business gift cards will be awarded to the winners in four categories: most scary, most funny, most original, and people’s choice. For a fee of $10, sixteen pre-registered carvers will receive a pumpkin, a Fall Fest apron, carving tools, and a work space. To get registered, go to downtownrochestermn.com.

If carving isn’t your thing, snap a selfie with the Fall Fest’s pumpkin pile, because it’s time to go big or gourd home. After the photo op, food might be in order. Café Steam’s warm beverages, Pasquale’s New York-style pizza, Laurel’s Confections, and Mama Meg’s apple cinnamon ice cream will all be on the menu at the fest, so there will be plenty of flavors for your taste buds to “fall” in love with.

Good Morning Bedlam will serve as the fest’s pumpkin-pied piper. Their folk-inspired, high-energy music will be presented by the Castle Community from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Meghann Southwick, a Community and Events Manager for the RDA, attended Fall Fest last year before she joined the RDA staff. This year, she was the lead planner and organizer for the festival, but she still remembers how much fun she had at the fest last year. “I took my son with me, and we really enjoyed the different activities provided by each vendor, as well as taking home a fun squirrel friend craft,” she says. “My favorite memory is of him dancing carelessly down the Peace Plaza.”

Southwick is excited about the fest’s many collaborations. “We have a really fantastic mix of vendors and participating organizations this year,” she says. “From the Rochester Civic Theatre hosting a costume dress up box complete with an old set backdrop, to Canvas & Chardonnay featuring live painting demos, and appearances by Yoga Tribe…there is so much fun in store.”

The fest is part of the RDA’s mission to create opportunities that strengthen a sense of community in downtown Rochester. “Our goal in everything that we do is to create energy, excitement, and bring unique character to Downtown,” says Southwick.

Don’t miss out on all the family fun Fall Fest has to offer. It will definitely be pumpkin to talk about, so it’s time to go all in for fall.

A previous version of this story referenced Fall Fest’s giant pumpkin and leaf piles. Due to weather issues on Thursday, those events have been canceled.

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