Social-ICE adapts to Social-LIGHTS

Rochester Downtown Alliance & Olmsted County Public Health react
Published: Jan. 12, 2022 at 6:53 PM CST
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ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) – The Rochester Downtown Alliance announced it has rescheduled its annual Social-ICE event to March 3-5. It was originally scheduled for early February. 

With the event being pushed back to March, the Downtown Alliance is trading its ice sculptures for light displays and calling the event Social-LIGHTS.

”Kind of an homage to Social-ICE but instead bringing in components of having really playful and interactive, colorful light experiences,” RDA Director of Events & Strategic Planning Kanika Couchene said.

The Downtown Alliance has been working closely with Olmsted County Public Health throughout the pandemic to make its events as safe as possible.

”In this case, with the COVID surge coming up, we did consult with public health who had recommend we look at rescheduling the dates of Social-ICE,” Couchene said.

Olmsted County Public Health predicts Omicron will reach its peak in cases around the beginning of February when the event was originally planned.

”We know that in a setting, even if it’s outdoors, there’s going to be a lot of interaction of people. As the day goes on and the night goes on, the risk increases where people may get together very closely and that is risk for transmission,” Olmsted County Public Health Associate Director Mike Melius said.

The Alliance also consulted with the six bars and restaurants participating in the event about postponing.

”We went in and we consulted with the key players of the event including the bars and restaurants, talked through what our options were and collectively came into a decision to reschedule,” Couchene said.

Downtown restaurant Victoria’s has participated in the event for nearly 15 years.

”I think everyone was on board with it. We were not wanting to cancel the event, but postponing it another month? Absolutely. We were all for it,” Victoria’s co-owner Natalie Victoria said.

Although we may be waiting just a bit longer, businesses are excited to get people downtown safely for Social-LIGHTS.

”It’s a great event to bring people downtown. It’s great exposure for downtown. It’s a good time,” Victoria said.

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