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Up on the Roof: Downtown Highlights Music, Movies, Food

The sun sets on a Thursday evening in Chapel Hill with the humidity and the day’s heat still lingering in the air, and, like a sign, people begin to shake out blankets and towels or unfold their chairs and congregate at a central point in Chapel Hill for a night full of family entertainment.

Summertime around the Hill involves enjoying the local scene of music, food and movies with the family. Thanks to Chapel Hill’s third annual Locally Grown Rooftop Music and Movies, such a summer experience is possible.

Every Thursday evening through Aug. 26, a movie or a local band performs, starting at 7 p.m., on top of the Wallace Parking Deck at 150 East Rosemary St. All events are free, open to the public and include discount parking at the Wallace Parking Deck.

There is a beer garden at each event, with other beverage choices also available, and all attendees are encouraged to bring chairs or throws to sit on as well as get food to go from downtown restaurants for a picnic.

“It’s a grassroots program for summer family entertainment,” said Shari Meltzer, director of marketing for 140 West Franklin Residences, which is a sponsor for the concerts in Locally Grown.

The main goal of the weekly events is to create a sense of locality among the community through local foods from restaurants in downtown Chapel Hill, local bands and family-orientated movies.

Peter Cummings, chairman of Ram Development Co., which is developing 140 West Franklin Residences, sees this type of entertainment as a way to connect the community, especially because 140 West Franklin Residences will be two blocks away.

“People live downtown and want some sort of funky entertainment [nearby], and an increasing audience is interested in that,” Cummings said. “These types of people represent a new generation who are looking for a different sort of lifestyle.”

Other supporters and sponsors of the events are the town of Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill-Carrboro’s 1360 WCHL radio station, the Downtown Partnership and The Chapel Hill Herald.

Katie Lubinsky


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