If you happen to be driving down Main Street in downtown Joplin on the third Thursday of the month, you may wonder why the road is blocked off to traffic. That’s because thousands of people flock to the heart of downtown to be a part of the Third Thursday festival, a monthly event held from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. from March through October. This is where people go to socialize and to check out the new and exciting things that are happening in our city. Art galleries pop up throughout downtown; some artwork is for sale and some is for exhibition. Performance stages are stationed at several points on Main Street, inviting you to listen to music, watch vignettes of plays, or learn hip-hop moves from a dance studio. Local shops keep their doors open, offering special sales and discounts to draw you in. If you’re hungry, you can opt for a progressive meal by stopping by various food trucks along the street or enjoy a sit-down meal at one of the many downtown restaurants.