3rd.Thursdays, Pittsfield’s free award-winning family-friendly street festival, brings a tropical glow to Pittsfield’s Upstreet Cultural District on July 19th. Held every third Thursdays from May through October, rain or shine, Pittsfield’s North Street is closed from Park Square to Linden Street so thousands of attendees can enjoy great local music, performances, shopping, dining and more.

This month’s lead sponsor is Berkshire Gas. Everyone’s invited to take part in the Upstreet Conga Line, kicking off at 6:30pm at Dottie’s Coffee Lounge at North and Maplewood, and wending its way down North Street, ending up at the Crowne Plaza on South Street. The Youth Alive drummers will keep us dancing and lead us on. Everyone’s welcome and encouraged to join in at any time!

Enjoy live outdoor music on at least six different stages at 3rd.Thursdays this month. The outdoor stage in front of theCrowne Plaza features the very popular Interlopers plus sizzling reggae sounds from the Equalites. Enjoy tropical beverages and Jamaican jerk specials outdoors while enjoying the music. Further up North Street enjoy the tropical oh-so-danceable sounds of the Berkshire Bateria and their sister samba band Bossa Triba, plus carnival dancers on St. Joseph’s Church lawn.

The Upstreet Beach returns to Palace Park this year, featuring sand galore for kids to play in and live music from family favorite Terry a la Berry, plus the Caribbean sounds of Trio Candela. Enjoy a sneak preview of Barrington Stage Company’s youth theatre production of Beauty and the Beast there at 6:30pm. A block away at Sottile Park at the corner of North and Eagle Streets enjoy the jazz/funk grooves of local group Unfulfilled Desires. And the Silver Swimmers will surprise and delight attendees where you least expect them.

The July 19th 3rd.Thursdays also includes two youth stages featuring local talent. Rock On Band Camp celebrates its tenth year with a variety of youth and teacher performances in front of spice Dragon restaurant at 297 North Street, while Berkshire Rocks features young singers, musicians and songwriters from throughout the Berkshires next to Hot Harry’s.

Indoor performances include the Town Players’ free staged reading of The Lives of the Great Waitresses, a very short (15 minutes) comedy at the Lichtenstein Center for the Arts at 5:30pm and 7pm, with the folk trio Mountain Breeze playing at 6pm. Other theatre performances include the first preview performance of All My Sons and Dr. Ruth, All The Way at Barrington Stage, and A Chorus Line at the Colonial Theatre.

3rd.Thurdays is partnering with Animal D.R.E.A.M.S. and Berkshire Money Management this month on the Paws for Dignity Fundraiser. 3rd.Thursdays attendees are invited to stop by the Animal D.R.E.A.M.S. storefront at 441 North Street to make a donation, and in return they may receive a very special gift.

Great food, drink, and shopping can also be found indoors and out at 3rd.Thursdays. The Berkshire Running Center is having a sale of sunglasses and hydration belts just in time for summer, and Pateez Boutique features adorable flipflops and shady hats. More information about 3rd.Thursdays entertainment, shopping and dining options can be found at discoverpittsfield.com/3rdThursdays.

3rd.Thursdays is a free family-friendly street festival featuring great local music and performances, shopping and dining, held on the third Thursday from May through October, rain or shine, in downtown Pittsfield, the largest community in the Berkshires of western Massachusetts. 3rd.Thursdays is organized by the City of Pittsfield. Major sponsors include Greylock Federal Credit Union, Berkshire Gas, Berkshire Life-a Guardian Company, and the Massachusetts Cultural Council. Lead downtown partners include Persnickety Toys, the Berkshire Theatre Group, the Beacon Cinema, Barrington Stage Company, Berkshire Museum and Spice Dragon, along with dozens of other downtown partners. Participating community vendors include Civitan, the Pittsfield Irish Sister City Committee, St. Joseph’s Church, Hancock Shaker Village, Pittsfield Prevention Project, Childcare of the Berkshires and many others.

For more information on 3rd.Thursdays, please email thirdthursdaypittsfield@gmail.com or call 413-499-9348. Next month’s 3rd.Thursdays will be held on Thursday August 16th in conjunction with the fourth annual WordXWord Festival and the Call Me Melville celebration of Herman Melville in the Berkshires.