Third Thursday begins again May 19, and celebrates its 10th birthday this year



(Pittsfield, Mass.) Upstreet Pittsfield’s award-winning street festival, 3rd Thursdays, returns for its tenth season on Thursday, May 19th with the Youth theme. The event celebrates youth performers, dancers, musicians, artists and more. The largest free outdoor event series in the Berkshires, 3rd Thursdays are family friendly and open to all. North Street will be closed to vehicular traffic from West Street to Linden Street and will be filled with music, performance, food and community activities.

“We are looking forward to celebrating the tenth season with the return of some favorite 3rd Thursday features and the introduction of some new things including the unveiling of the Pittsfield Paintbox Project,” says Jen Glockner, director of cultural development for the city of Pittsfield.

The entire half mile of 3rd Thursday will be smoke-free for the first time.

For the youth-themed 3rd Thursday in May, you’ll see performances from Youth Alive; Kids 4 Harmony; Albany Berkshire Ballet; Cantarella School of Dance; students from Reid Middle School and Taconic High School; Rock On; Hillcrest Drummers and Berkshire Pulse with Aimee Gelinas ; Zumba on Park Square and demos and performances from the Funkbox Dance Studio. Other highlights include: Bowey the Clown; Face Painting and the Berkshire Athenaeum Lego Tent. There will also be live music and a chef station outside at the Crowne Plaza.

The miniature train rides from Roaming Railroad are back, as is the Community Art Tent and Outdoor Chalk Art Gallery. The Carr Hardware Bounce House returns again this year. The Pittsfield Boys and Girls Club will host its Fun Zone for the third year in a row with bean bag toss, arts and crafts and more.

The National Alliance on Mental Illness will be holding its Minds Matter fundraising walk. Registration begins at 5 p.m. at the main stage at Persip Park at the corner of Columbus Avenue and North Street and the walk will kick off at 5:30, traveling the length of 3rd Thursdays and back. For more information, visit

The Berkshire Museum offers free admission for Berkshire County residents during the 3rd Thursday events. They are also hosting a Dinosaur Egg Hunt in conjunction with their Tiny Titans Exhibit. Click here for more information. The Lichtenstein Center for the Arts will host a reception for its annual Art in our Schools show featuring more than 200 works of art by Pittsfield public middle and high school students.

The performances continue inside with Barrington Stage’s Presto Change-O at the Blatt Center. This exciting new musical tells the story of three generations of magicians who find themselves under one roof for the first time in years. When the grandfather causes real magic to happen, they must confront their past mistakes and re-examine what it means to be a family. Head over to Mission (no cover) and check out the Picky Bastards, a collective gathering of rotating local folk, rock and Americana musicians.

Other tenth anniversary season highlights include: a dance party with DJ BFG; a birthday party in July with other birthday surprises; a Berkshire Young Professionals Scavenger Hunt; the unveiling of the Pittsfield Paintbox Project; chef demos during the food-themed July event; a Touch-a-Truck event in August; a collaboration with Jacob’s Pillow to bring the Bridgeman/Packer TRUCK performance to 3rd Thursday; the return of the Green Mile Road Race and the Walk a Mile in Her Shoes and much more!

3rd Thursdays season sponsors include Berkshire Gas, Berkshire Health Systems, Guardian Life Insurance Company of America and the Massachusetts Cultural Council. Upcoming 3rd Thursday dates and themes are: June 16 – Health; July 21 – Food; August 18 – Touch-a-Truck event; September 15th: Walk-a-Mile. There will be no 3rd Thursday in October. Save the date for the Harvest Festival on Saturday, October 15, a collaborative event between the Downtown Pittsfield Farmers Market and the Office of Cultural Development.

3rd Thursdays is organized by the City of Pittsfield Office of Cultural Development. For more information on 3rd Thursdays please visit 3rd Thursdays are held 5pm-8pm, rain or shine, and there is plenty of free parking throughout downtown’s Upstreet Cultural District.

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