Downtown Joplin Alliance: January 2024 What’s Up Downtown?

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

Upcoming Events & Activities

January First Friday WineShare

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

It’s the first WineShare of the year and this month’s location is back at the Empire Market!

Come check out what the Empire Market’s 2024 season has in store and explore the Bunny & Jane Newton Community Kitchen. To keep things light and lively, Joplin Board Games will have a variety of communication-based party games available for everyone to play, including Dixit, Stella, Monikers, Poetry for Neanderthals, Just One, Heads Up, and Take 5.

This is a free 21+ networking event. Simply bring some business cards, a bottle of wine or craft beer to share, and enjoy yourself! Light snacks will be available.

Learn more here.

5th Annual Empire Market Chili Cookoff

Saturday, January 20 | 10:30 am to 2:00 pm | Empire Market | 931 E. 4th Street | $5 entry fee

The Joplin Empire Market and the Downtown Joplin Alliance will be hosting the 5th Annual Empire Market Chili Cookoff at the Market on January 20!

Awards will be given for First, Second, and Third Place as well as People’s Choice and an All-Market Chili award. Judging begins at 10:30 am and public tasting runs from 10:30 am to 2:00 pm, or whenever the chili runs out! Hear what the judges have to say and then cast your vote for whose chili is the best in the People’s Choice Award.

Admission into the tasting hall will be $5. This grants access to taste all chili and vote in the People’s Choice category. Participants can prepay or buy a tasting ticket at the door. All proceeds support the Newton Community Kitchen.

To register as a participant, click here. To learn more, click here.

National Seed Swap Day at the Empire Market

Saturday, January 27 | 10:30 am to 2:00 pm | Empire Market | 931 E. 4th Street | $5 entry fee

Join DJA and the Empire Market’s Master Gardeners for their annual seed swap event!

This year, there will be seeds to give away, information on gardening and plants, and showcases on some of the ways that the Empire Market’s community garden is working to make gardening accessible to everyone. Participants are welcome to bring seeds, but do not have to bring any in order to participate. There will be native, pollinator, herb, veggie, and fruit seeds on hand as well as special guests, including Master Naturalists and Master Gardeners to help answer any gardening questions you may have.

Afterwards, be sure to shop with farmers and artisans at the Empire Market!

Learn more about this event here.

Downtown Now Evening of Excellence

Wednesday, January 31 | 5:30 to 7:30 pm | The Ramsay Event Center | 107 E. 6th Street 

DJA wants to invite their closest friends and community to say thank you for a great year! To that end, their first Downtown Now of the year will be their Evening of Excellence, a celebration of all who make their work possible. Donors, volunteers, sponsors, businesses, and allies are welcome to the event.

The event will be held at The Ramsay Event Center (107 E. 6th Street). DJA will take this time to celebrate donors and volunteers who have poured their time, energy, and hard work into downtown. Guests will also enjoy a presentation from keynote speaker Randy Wilson, the president of Community Design Solutions, a planning firm based in Columbia, South Carolina, devoted to delivering creative services for community building. A variety of tasty snacks and beverages will be served as they present their 2023 highlights and award a few downtown partners.

DJA would like to thank everyone for a great year in 2023 and investing in the downtown community!

DJA asks that anyone planning on attending RSVP so they can anticipate food and drinks. Learn more here.

February First Friday WineShare

Friday, February 2 | 6:00 to 8:00 pm | Blacklist Ink and Blacklist Laser | 506–510 S. Main Street

For February, join the DJA crew at Blacklist Ink and Blacklist Laser & Cosmetics in beautiful downtown Joplin! You’ll be able to view some of the gorgeous artwork in Blacklist Ink (and maybe see a few live demos, too) and see all the amazing services they offer in the spa next door.

This is a free 21+ networking event. Simply bring some business cards, a bottle of wine or craft beer to share, and enjoy yourself! Light snacks will be available.

Find out more about this event here.

2023 Downtown Holiday Decorating

On December 19, DJA announced the winners of the 2023 Downtown Holiday Decorating Awards in the beautiful lobby of City Hall. Over thirty businesses participated, with even more choosing to decorate without being a part of the voting, transforming downtown into a Winter Wonderland!

Everyone worked very hard on their displays this year, and the competitive voting reflected it. The winners of the 2023 contest are as follows:

2024 Third Thursday Season

There’s only a few months left until the start of the 17th Third Thursday season, and it’s going to be a doozy!

Each month will feature a different theme, and DJA is bringing back most of the classics but is adding the Route 66 Fest for May. The National Corvette Convention will be taking over a few blocks of Main Street that day! Check out all the themes below.

  • March 21 — Go Green Downtown
  • April 18 — Be a Hero
  • May 16 — Route 66 Fest
  • June 20 — You Belong in Joplin
  • July 18 — Downtown Waterfest
  • August 15 — Dog Days of Summer
  • September 19 — Green and Gold
  • October 17 — Harvest Festival

Applications for vendors will be opening up soon, so what the DJA social media and website or more info. If you’re interested in promoting your business to an audience of thousands, there are still some 2024 sponsorship slots available. Contact Lori at for more details.

Chairing is Caring

“Chairing is Caring,”, 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.


Lori Haun, Executive Director
Downtown Joplin Alliance

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