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Downtown Thursdays return to Minneapolis, with big slate of events to follow

Summer events will help revitalize downtown Minneapolis, organizers hope
Summer events will help revitalize downtown Minneapolis, organizers hope 02:08

MINNEAPOLIS — The windy weather may have affected turnout, but the return of Downtown Thursdays to downtown Minneapolis has given many hope for the energy needed to revitalize the corridor.

"I think there's just a bigger appetite for social activity," Adam Duininck, of the Minneapolis Downtown Council, told WCCO. "There's some energy around that."

Duininck said there are more than 1,800 events planned for downtown between June and September, including popular festivals like Taste of Minnesota and Aquatennial. They also include concerts, sporting events, art fairs and more.

"Coming down here to experience it is one of those don't tell me, show me kind of moments," he quipped. "There's a question about whether downtown is safe or not or thriving economically or not. Trying to put together these events helps to facilitate that."

Indeed, the Downtown Council said downtown welcomed 9.75 million attendees last year for sports, musicals, performances, concerts and free community events — surpassing the 9.6 million in 2019, the year before the COVID-19 pandemic.

Still, only 65% of downtown's 216,000+ office workers are back in the office, and that's only at least once per week, according to the council's data.

"I'm still 75% down than it used to be before," Alain Lenne, owner of Come Pho Soup restaurant, lamented. "I thought after one or two years things would be normal again. It's not."

To see the full calendar of events this summer, visit the council's website.

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