Downtown Blacksburg Inc. is proud to present our non-profit Member of the Month for November 2016 – Downtown Events!
Downtown Events, Inc. is a non-profit, all-volunteer run organization that produces Blacksburg’s largest monthly mixer, Up on the Roof.
Originally, the event was geared toward young and creative professionals. Up on the Roof has just completed NINE seasons and has grown over the years from an attendance of 30 people to over 400 each month from April to September. The event was originally designed to bring fun locals, grad students young and creative professionals together for the purposes of socializing and enjoying our downtown venues. Up on the Roof’s President and one of the founders of Downtown Events Inc., Krisha Chachra, was involved with several iterations of this concept for the purpose of connecting in a social environment – first with the New River Nucleus, then the New River Network, and then Thursdays After 5 before helping to create a sustainable model on the Kent Square Parking Garage with remaining original board member, Mike Soriano and others.
Through the years, the Up on the Roof Board has changed membership and direction, adding more elements of entertainment to the event. We have showcased many local bands on the rooftop and take pride in offering only craft, local beer and vodka mixers as well as food samples from nearby restaurants. Up on the Roof offers one of the best deals in town: for $5 you get a 16oz beverage and food and for $10 you get three 16oz beverage and food – and music and mingling with other people – is free! In addition we have reusable cups that come with the cost of getting in – you can keep the cup and save a dollar if you bring it the next time you attend.
The money collected from the entrance goes to covering the costs associated with producing this event. At the end of the year, if we have money left over, we donate some of our proceeds (between $1000-$2000) to local charity. In recent years, we have given to the Montgomery County Christmas Store and financed the completion of the Stroubles Creek mural downtown at the corner of Jackson and Draper Roads and the 16 Blocks Frog Project. We were also sponsors of Party on the Promenade in Downtown Blacksburg and financial sponsors for the Shark Tank Viewing party for Taluma Totes, the United Way Casino Night and the Moss Center for the Arts Mix at the Mac. By attending our events you are contributing to the beautification of Downtown Blacksburg, helping people and bringing more social programming to our community!
We meet on the last Thursday of every month (April through Sept) on the rooftop of the Kent Square parking lot from 5:30-8pm. The Up on the Roof planning committee reserves the right to remove any attendee from the premises if they are deemed disruptive or a safety hazard; please do not bring your pets. You must be 21 with a valid ID to get in; this is a professional’s mixer so children or anyone underage are not permitted as per our ABC agreement.
We consider ourselves to be, first and foremost, a social organization with a mission to connect newcomers, locals and creative professionals in Blacksburg – however, there are economic development outcomes that stem from our event. Individuals have found jobs through networking and speaking with our sponsors on the roof. Attendees heavily patronize the local bars and restaurants after our event finishes for the evening. Friendships are forged; information about more “things to do” in Blacksburg is exchanged. Companies use our event as a recruitment tool. And, couples have met and married after meeting at Up on the Roof. So we truly do contribute to our local economy as well as the attraction and retention of creative professionals. Come and join us! Be Local. Be Social.
Our current Up on the Roof Board consists of Krisha Chachra, Mike Soriano, Chelsea Koonce, Derek Klinedinst, Karie Geiss, Lud Eng, Chris Belluzzo, and Cliv Cranwell.