Update: Third Thursday is back on as scheduled on May 17, read the story here.

Monday May 7, 2012

PITTSFIELD - The Third Thursday scheduled for May 17 has been canceled by City Hall due to the ongoing construction work on North Street.

"We were informed by the Mayor [Daniel Bianchi] on Friday that we would have to cancel because of the construction," confirmed Megan Whilden, Director of Cultural Development for Pittsfield. "We're disappointed."

Third Thursday, a celebration of the city's arts, ethnicity, history and culture, has become one of the signature summer events of Pittsfield. Whilden was quick to emphasize that, as far as she is aware, this will be the only Third Thursday event to be canceled this year.

"It is hugely popular," she said, noting that more than 30 vendors participate. Third Thursday also draws literally thousands of visitors each of the six Thursdays during the summer and fall on which they are scheduled.

This is the first Third Thursday event that has been canceled in the six years the event has been scheduled.

Whilden said that the city is in the process of calling vendors and notifying them. A formal announcement will be made today [Monday], she said.

The theme of this month's Third Thursday celebration was youth, said Whilden.


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Greg Geyer, founder and director of Berkshire Rocks, said he was " hugely disappointed" by the announcement. Geyer said he heard officially on Sunday at about 5:30 p. m. of the cancellation. Berkshire Rocks is one of the vendors most deeply affected by the cancellation.

Berkshire Rocks is a nonprofit organization that is dedicated to the support, education and empowerment of artists and musicians 20 years old and under. The organization provides opportunities and mentoring for young musicians.

Third Thursday was a major venue for many of the organizations' youth bands, said Geyer. Berkshire Rocks had already lined up bands and performance venues up and down North Street, he said.

"One of the things that has happened over the past few years is that this has become a countywide phenomenon from the perspective of Berkshire Rocks," he said. "We get kids not just from Pittsfield, but from all over the Berkshires. I'm just bummed for the kids."

To reach Derek Gentile: dgentile@berkshireeagle.com, or (413) 496-6251.

On Twitter:@DerekGentile