Downtown Joplin Alliance: December 2023 What’s Up Downtown?

Downtown Joplin Alliance (DJA) has a lot of fun, upcoming holiday-themed events and several updates in their new e-newsletter! Learn more below.

Upcoming Events & Activities

Empire Market Holiday Market

Saturday, November 18 to Saturday, December 23 | 10:00 am to 2:00 pm | Empire Market | 931 E. 4th Street

The 6th Annual Holiday Market will be here before we know it! Enjoy the festivities every Saturday beginning November 18 and culminating in DJA’s Tinsel & Tidings Christmas Eve-Eve Market on December 23!

During the Holiday Market, you can find not only the great variety of baked goods, prepared food, produce, local coffee and wine, and pastured meat that you are used to, but also an expanded selection of artisan vendors to make shopping small even easier.

On select Saturdays, gift-wrapping will be available and Santa’s will arrive on Saturday, December 9 and Saturday December 23!

If you’re interested in vending during the merriest season of all, apply here.

Meet Santa at the Empire Market

Saturday, December 9 and Saturday, December 23 | 11:00 am to 1:00 pm | Empire Market | 931 E. 4th Street

Christmas is drawing nearer and we have invited Santa to the Market to help answer all your holiday wishes! He’s jolly, he’s merry, but he’s only here from 11:00 am – 1:00pm, so plan accordingly!
The Market will have a lovely background for your photos and a professional photographer to capture your festive best. A digital copy of your photo will be emailed to you by the end of the day or the next day. There is no cost, but donations are always appreciated!
Everyone is welcome to participate, both the young and the young at heart.
Learn more here.
Downtown Holiday Decorating Competition Awards

Tuesday, December 19 | 2:30 pm | Joplin City Hall | 602 S. Main Street

Every year, downtown businesses put up their very best holiday decorations and the public decides whose decorations are the holliest, the jolliest, and best fit the theme! This year’s theme is Winter Wonderland.
The awards ceremony will be held in the lobby of City Hall and awards will be given in three categories:
  • Best Use of Theme (Winter Wonderland)
  • Best Use of Lights
  • Most Creative

January First Friday WineShare

Friday, January 5 | 6:00 to 8:00 pm | Hosted at the Empire Market | 931 E. 4th Street

Join DJA and community members at the Empire Market and learn more about the Market and its mission while you chat and network with other downtown patrons and enjoying light snacks. This is a free 21+ networking event. Simply bring some business cards, a bottle of wine or craft beer to share, and enjoy yourself!

Downtown Update

Holiday Decorating Competition

Downtown is certainly looking festive these days! The Holiday Decorating Competition is still in full swing and the votes are pouring in. Make sure to take a stroll downtown, view the decorations at participating businesses, and vote for your favorites before Friday, December 15!

You can cast your vote here.

Fall in Love with Local BINGO

The DJA had a great time watching everyone play Fall in Love with Local BINGO on Small Business Saturday this year! They hope that everyone had fun doing it, too, and that the community will continue to support local small businesses throughout the holiday season and beyond.

They also have extras of their Fall in Love with Local tote bags, which will be available to purchase this holiday season (while supplies last) at the Joplin Empire Market! These roomy bags are only $20 each and would make a great gift for a friend who loves all things local.

They also have new, handmade ornaments available in their Market Mercantile, which are created by their own Kristina Kosiorek. All proceeds from ornament purchases go towards raising funds for DJA’s National Main Street Conference in 2024!

Spiva Park Decorating

A few weeks ago, DJA staff and board members joined an amazing crew of volunteers to help light up Spiva Park for the holiday season! Their goal was to make the space a little brighter every year, possibly until it can be seen from space.

DJA would like to thank everyone who helped, including group from Liberty Utilities (they even brought a bucket truck to set the star on top of the big Christmas tree), Freeman Health System, Verts Neighborhood Dispensary, Joplin Arts District, and the Cragin family. None of this would be possible without the help of the fine folks at the Joplin Parks and Recreation Department!

Chairing is Caring

“Chairing is Caring” this holiday season, and DJA hopes that the community cares enough to donate a few dollars (or more) to help them rebuild their big yellow rocking chair!

This iconic structure has graced the front of the market building for over six years now and has welcomed thousands of visitors into its embrace. Time, Missouri weather, and reckless drivers have taken their toll and the entire chair needs to be rebuilt.

Donations are being taken to rebuild the chair from scratch so that it can be safer and more accessible for everyone. You can donate to help rebuild it here.

5th Annual Empire Market Chili Cookoff

The 5th Annual Empire Market Chili Cookoff will be hosted at the Joplin Empire Market on Saturday, January 20. Judging will start at 10:30 am and tasting will be open to the public from immediately after the tasting until supplies run out.

Applications for contestants are open now and interested chefs can apply here or through the Empire Market’s Event Page on Facebook. Applications will be accepted until Saturday, January 13. The entry fee for each individual contestant is $20.

A list of rules and regulations will be available before payment and submission. Paper copies of the application and the contest rules are available at the Empire Market each Saturday from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm until January 13.

Learn more here.


Lori Haun, Executive Director
Downtown Joplin Alliance

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