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 Shoppers look over the deals from several of the Main Street businesses during a past Sidewalk Sales event.

Shoppers look over the deals from several of the Main Street businesses during a past Sidewalk Sales event.

File photo by Patricia O’Blenes

Rochester DDA gets the OK to host summer events

By: Mary Beth Almond | Rochester Post | Published July 7, 2020


ROCHESTER — Although this summer may look a little different than in years past, there is still plenty of fun to be had in downtown Rochester.

The Rochester City Council recently gave the Rochester Principal Shopping District the green light to host Movies in the Moonlight, Sidewalk Sales, Junk in the Trunk and the new Downtown Rochester Thursday Night Market.

As of June 1, when Gov. Gretchen Whitmer declared that Michigan was moving into Phase 4 of the state’s reopening, groups of up to 100 were allowed to gather outdoors with proper social distancing.

Rochester Downtown Development Authority Executive Director Kristi Trevarrow said the events are all dependent on the state moving into Phase 5 of the MI Safe Start Plan, which allows indoor gatherings of 50 people and outdoor gatherings of 250, so long as people can adhere to social distancing guidelines. At press time, the governor had not yet moved the state into Phase 5.

Rochester Police Chief Steve Schettenhelm said the PSD and merchants will be required to follow all COVID-19 restrictions in effect by the governor at the time of the events.

“The current executive order, whatever is in place (at the time of the events), would have to be followed,” Schettenhelm said.

Movies in the Moonlight
The annual Movies in the Moonlight series will kick off July 11 this summer with the 2019 release of “Aladdin,” rated PG. Other featured movies include the 1978 PG-13-rated film “Grease” July 18, the PG-13 film “Jumanji II” July 25 and the PG film “Frozen II” Aug. 1.

Movies will be projected onto a large screen near the parking lot at the corner of East Third and Water streets, one block east of Main Street, Saturday nights through Aug. 1. Before each movie, starting at 8:30 p.m., attendees can enjoy a different pre-show activity — which will incorporate the theme of the film each week. The films begin at dusk, around 9:15 p.m., and will be shown in light rain or shine. In the event of inclement weather, organizers will make the call whether to cancel a movie just before the event.

Trevarrow said approximately 500 people typically attend each movie, so attendees are encouraged to arrive early and to bring their own chairs or blankets to sit on.

“If we are able to move into Phase 5, we would close down all entrances but one, count 500 people in and then we’re done. If we do not move into Phase 5, then we have a backup plan that we’re actually looking at right now where we could do a drive-in model, which would conform because everyone would stay inside their cars and we do have that technology available to us through our existing provider,” Trevarrow explained.

Sidewalk Sales
Beginning Aug. 6, downtown merchants will set up goods on tables and racks under tents along the sidewalk for the downtown Rochester Sidewalk Sales, which will run 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Aug. 6-7 and 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Aug. 8 along Main Street and various side streets in downtown Rochester.

Trevarrow said community members may notice Dancin’ in the Street was not included in the festivities this year.

“We’re going to be taking that out this year because that was the one (event) we couldn’t figure out how to effectively do safely,” she said.

Junk in the Trunk
Downtown Rochester will once again become a treasure-hunter’s dream during Junk in the Trunk, which is scheduled for 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Aug. 1 in the Farmers Market Upper Lot in downtown Rochester. Junk in the Trunk allows businesses, community members and those who sell handmade crafts to sell goods from the roughly 75 parking spaces in the lot.

Downtown Rochester Thursday Night Market
The new Downtown Rochester Thursday Night Market will be held in the upper level of the East Platform parking deck 4-8 p.m. Thursdays July 9-Aug. 27. To allow for the market to be open, Trevarrow said, parking will be limited to the lower level each week on Wednesday night and all day on Thursday.

“The Thursday Night Market is deemed an essential service, not a special event, so we worked with the fire chief to come up with our capacity at any one time, which is 200 people, and that’s based on international fire code — that’s with vendors and customers, which is why we will be down there monitoring the gate each Saturday to make sure we don’t have any more than 200,” Trevarrow said.

For more information, including a complete schedule of downtown events, visit or call (248) 656-0060.