2012’s last ‘Thursday’ festival next week

Joplinians wander Main Street at last month’s Third Thursday event.

Willie Brown, The Chart

Joplinians wander Main Street at last month’s Third Thursday event.

The fifth season of downtown Joplin’s Third Thursday events is coming to a close.

“Between March and Oct. of each year, our goal is to gather the community around the arts and culture in Joplin,” executive director of the Downtown Joplin Alliance Trisha Patton said.

This year’s final Third Thursday will take place on Oct. 18 from 5:30 to 9 p.m. on Main St. between first and seventh streets.

“We have over a dozen art galleries that are open that evening, many of them are pop-up galleries that are only open for that night, but some of them are galleries that are open all throughout the year,” Patton said.

This month’s Third Thursday sponsor is First State Bank, who will be bringing in artists to create live pieces of art to be auctioned off with the proceeds going to charity.

Showcased artwork from local artists, photographers, Joplin High School students, amongst others, will be on display in the many galleries.

According to Patton, there will be a performing arts stage at sixth and Main as well as performances by fire dancers and the Joplin show choir.

“We also have a live music stage which will be showcasing the music of Walrus, a classic rock band, and that will be on seventh and Main,” Patton said.

There is also the marketplace where area businesses, not-for-profits and vendors selling handmade crafts and art pieces will be set up at fourth and Main. This month, the Emancipation Committee will be taking over the 100 block for a soul food cook-off.

“People have been applying for the last month and a half to vie for a spot for the best soul food in Joplin and people will be able to go in and taste their food for, I think, $5 per plate,” Patton said.