It’s a regular habit for Janet and me to take time after work on Thursdays in the summer months to walk Thursdays on First and Third. If you are not familiar with TOF, it is a weekly outdoor market and street fair, occupying a portion of downtown Rochester’s First Ave SE and historic Third Street, and put on by Downtown Rochester MN. Weather permitting, it runs every Thursday from the beginning of June through the end of August.

The street is filled with tents featuring food and beverage, crafts, art, just about anything you can think of. The first time Jan and I walked the avenue, we had an unexpected surprise of running into an acquaintance from one of my previous workplaces. Nina owns and operates 4 Angels Creations, and is regular vendor at TOF. We’re always glad to see her now each week.

rick and nina
Rick and Nina

We’ve found some favorite food vendors over the years at TOF. One of Jan’s favorites is fish sticks from Dooley’s, or either creme brulee or deep-fried ice cream from Kapper’s Big Red Barn out of Chatfield. I like a taco from Hefe Rojo, and a lemonade from Ginger’s.


Music is a significant part of the TOF experience. There are two stages: one at the Peace Plaza end of the market, and one at the end of 1st Avenue. Tonight, the crowd was enjoying The 9th Planet Out. There are three acts each week at each stage, so plenty of musical variety to choose from. Rochester’s Civic Music Department books the acts. Their full lineup can be found on their website (click here).

The 9th Planet Out
The 9th Planet Out

Lots of Thursdays left this summer, so be sure to check out Thursdays on First and Third!

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