FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
3rd Thursday Street Festival Goes Back to the Street for its Ninth Season with New Setup featuring Three Specialized Areas for People of All Ages
(Pittsfield, Mass.) The City of Pittsfield Office of Cultural Development is revitalizing 3rd Thursday and taking the festival back to the street for its ninth season. The largest free outdoor event series in the Berkshires will be taking advantage of the newly renovated Persip Park and using it as the Main Stage for the season.
Other revitalization efforts include: a mini Downtown Pittsfield Farmers Market; a community art project and outdoor chalk art gallery; a smoke free family area; a food court with food trucks and vendors in an area where there are no existing restaurants; café tables in the street; destination areas designed for the different 3rd Thursday activities and a 3rd Thursday After Party at the Whitney Center for the Arts.
Mayor Bianchi said, “It’s hard to believe we are marking our ninth year of 3rd Thursdays in Pittsfield. This year’s redesign will provide a reinvigorated street festival. Residents and visitors alike will enjoy the new set up, new vendors and new offerings this year. I am looking forward to May’s kick off and hope to see all of Pittsfield there.” He added, “I am so impressed with the work of Jen Glockner and Shiobbean Lemme. Their creativity and community dedication have provided us with another year of 3rd Thursdays that we can be proud of.”
The designated areas are structured to support the themes Relax, Play and Create. The areas will also support the downtown businesses and encourage them to take part in 3rd Thursday in any way that they can. RELAX in the area from Park Square to Columbus Avenue by enjoying one of the nearly 20 eateries open in this area, with many of them selling their food outside on the street. The RELAX area will also feature café tables set up in the street to encourage attendees to sit and enjoy their 3rd Thursday meals. Palace Park will feature live music and entertainment and the vendors in this area will have a more environmental, educational, informational and community outreach theme. This area will also feature an expanded Thistle and Mirth beer garden serving local brews in the breezeway next to Hot Harry’s with live entertainment.
PLAY in the area from Columbus Avenue to Union Street. This area will be the non-smoking children and family area. It will feature the return of the roaming railroad; a Bounce House provided by Carr Hardware Rental; the YMCA; the Boys and Girls Club Fun Zone with basketball and arts and crafts; a nursing and diaper changing tent from Berkshire Nursing Families; a fancy food court of sorts with food trucks and vendors from near and far and much more.
Next is the CREATE area from Union Street to Linden Street which will feature an outdoor chalk art gallery at the intersection of Union and North Streets. The chalk gallery will be connected to the Community Art Tent each month, sponsored by Greylock Federal Credit Union. People of all ages are welcome to participate in this community art experience. Draw and create under the tent or take chalk to the pavement and put your mark on 3rd Thursday. Your creations will be documented to become a piece which will be unveiled at the end of the season to celebrate 3rd Thursday 2015. The CREATE area will also feature artisan vendors and outdoor music and entertainment including a street dance party in July with DJ BFG.
Artisan vendors are encouraged to submit their application to be a part of this newly revitalized area. The Downtown Pittsfield Farmers Market is collaborating with 3rd Thursday this year and will feature a mini-market at the June and October events.
“We want to take advantage of this beautiful newly renovated half mile stretch of North Street and bring together all of the different local businesses, cultural organizations, food vendors, community groups, volunteers and performers to take part in 3rd Thursday in any way that they can,” said Jen Glockner, Director of Cultural Development for the City of Pittsfield. “We are inviting those who have not been to 3rd Thursday in awhile to come back and give it another try.”
The Hotel on North, which debuts in June, will welcome 3rd Thursday attendees into its vibrant social spaces, from the lobby art gallery and relaxing lounge to the delicious new restaurant and bar, Eat + Drink on North.
The Crowne Plaza will be serving food outside along its South Street sidewalks with live entertainment and perhaps some surprises along the way as well. New this season, the Whitney Center for the Arts will offer a 3rd Thursday After Party every month with live music and refreshments. The Berkshire Museum will once again offer free admission for Berkshire County residents during the 3rd Thursday events. Mission will feature the Picky B’s, a collective gathering of rotating local folk, rock and Americana musicians hosted by Andy Wrba and Chris Merenda, at 8pm on 3rd Thursdays.
As always, North Street will be closed to vehicular traffic from West Street to Linden Street from 5pm-8pm. 3rd Thursdays are held rain or shine and there is plenty of free parking throughout downtown’s Upstreet Cultural District.
May features the Creative Youth theme with the return of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Mind Matters fundraising walk. Registration begins at 5pm at Persip Park and the walk will kick off at 5:30pm traveling the length of 3rd Thursdays and back.
Other May highlights include: Highland, one of the newest bands on the Berkshire scene featuring area high schoolers; Youth Alive Step, Dance and Drum teams; a performance from music students from Reid Middle School and Taconic High School; drumming from the Berkshire Rhythm Keepers and the Funk Box Dance Studio; miniature golf obstacles with Downswing Indoor Golf Center and much more!
Future month themes include: June (June 18) is Healthy Pittsfield which will host the Green Mile Road Race and several healthy activities throughout the half mile stretch; July’s theme (July 16) is #ArtsMatter taken from the Mass Creative Arts Matter advocacy campaign and the kick off to the second annual Pittsfield Shakespeare in the Park performance; August (August 20) is All the World’s a Stage and will feature area cultural venues bringing their performances out onto the street; September (September 17) brings back the Walk a Mile in Her Shoes partnership with the Elizabeth Freeman Center and October (October 15) will debut a Harvest Fest theme while partnering with Berkshire Health Systems and the American Cancer Society for the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk.
3rd Thursdays season sponsors include Berkshire Health Systems, Berkshire Gas, Guardian Life Insurance Company of America, Greylock Federal Credit Union, The Berkshire Eagle and the Massachusetts Cultural Council. Downtown Partners include: Bagels Too; Barrington Stage Company; Beacon Cinema; Berkshire Museum; Berkshire Theatre Group; Carr Hardware; CompuWorks; Downtown Pittsfield, Inc.; Persnickety Toys and Whaling Properties.
The Office of Cultural Development is still accepting vendor applications. There will be a maximum of 150 vendors accepted for the season on a first come first serve basis. You can download your vendor application at DiscoverPittsfield.com. For more information on 3rd Thursdays please visit discoverpittsfield.com, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 413-499-9348.