A new event is happening Thursday with the goal of bringing some foot traffic and liveliness to SF's downtown, and it's called Downtown First Thursdays.

The Civic Joy Fund, which previously bankrolled summertime music performances on city streets, and a guerrilla drag event on street corners in almost a dozen neighborhoods in early December, is launching the latest activation effort for downtown San Francisco this week. It's a mini street fair called Downtown First Thursdays (DFT), and it's going to be taking over Second Street between Market and Howard streets Thursday evening, May 2, from 5 to 10 pm.

There will be vendors and multiple performance stages, including a main stage, dubbed the Art Car Stage, at Second and Howard where rising star recording artist Aluna will be performing, and a "discoteca" on Minna Street hosted by Grace Towers — who serves on the advisory board of the Civic Joy Fund.

The Art Car Stage will also feature drag performances, hosted by Oasis Nightclub, and there will be a "dance hall" area outside Natoma Cabana as well.

Inside 111 Minna Gallery, KALW will be hosting conversations all evening. And outside both 111 Minna and Natoma Cabana, there will be beer gardens set up, for your imbibing pleasure.

Additionally, there will be live bands performing on Jessie Street, curated by Noise Pop.

Organizer Manny Yekutiel says they hope to bring 10,000 people to the street party, which is set to go on every first Thursday of the month for a full year.

"There will be a very large disco ball..." Yekutiel teases.

Map via Downtown First Thursdays

First Thursdays have also traditionally been a time for gallery openings in this part of town, and it's a day of free admission at SFMOMA from noon to 8 pm. The Berggruen Gallery is havening opening for Darren Waterston: A Life in Fields, and a group show called  Polyphonic, featuring work by Minku Kim. And the Museum of the African Diaspora will have free admission from 5 to 8 pm, with a DJ set by Chulita Vinyl Club.

After things wind down at DFT, there is an afterparty happening at the Midway, will Aluna will also be performing.

Downtown First Thursdays joins other, city-sponsored programs like the Vacant to Vibrant effort — which kicked off with a night market event in October — that hope to breathe new life into the still quiet streets of downtown.

Board of Supervisors President Aaron Peskin, who is also running for mayor, said two weeks ago that the board is looking to find budget funds to launch a regular program of music and other performances in Union Square, with the goal of activating that area "almost every day" this summer.

The Civic Joy Fund is underwritten by multiple philanthropists and companies, including mayoral candidate Daniel Lurie, investor Joby Pritzker, billionaire Chris Larsen, hotelier Chip Conley, Levi's, and the GAP Foundation. "We aim to bring more art, music, color, energy and joy to our city streets — the most public of civic spaces — to assist in our economic recovery and diverse projects that make our city of San Francisco so great," the group says on its website.

In addition to the December San Francisco Is a Drag event, the Civic Joy Fund was behind last year's Halloween revival in the Castro, and the return of the laser lights up Market Street during APEC week.

You can reserve a free ticket to Downtown First Thursdays here. The next DFT will be on June 6.