Summit portion of Tom Tom wrapping up, Block Party returns

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- The fifth day of the Tom Tom Summit and Festival continues at locations in and around downtown Charlottesville.

On Thursday night, one of the most popular events took place and awarded a local business money raised the audience.

It's the annual Crowdfunded Pitch Night during which ten entrepreneurs pitched an idea to an audience made up of community members, who then voted with their money.

The audience selected Alexander Olesen of Babylon Micro-Farms and gave him the crowd-raised pol of $1,445, which will be used to support a community outreach program to get area residents involved in the growing process.

His company helps people grow their own fresh produce year-round, and the process uses 90 percent less water than conventional agricultural techniques and bypasses the use of harmful chemicals.

Friday features the beginning of the ever popular Block Party, a three-day event with music, food, community and more at Market Street Park.

But this year's festival features a special taping of the podcast Slate Political Gabfest, during which there will be a discussion of the week in politics and current events.

The co-hosts of the show are John Dickerson of CBS This Morning, Emily Bazelon of The New York Times Magazine, and David Plotz of Atlas Obscura along with special guest Jamelle Bouie with The New York Times.

Friday afternoon will see the final rounds of the American Evolution Innovators Cup, which challenges college students to develop creative solutions to issues facing Virginia and the country with the possibility of getting a cash prize.

The Entrepreneurial Ecosystems Conference is underway, wrapping up the six-part Summit section of Tom Tom.

Speakers will talk about investing in markets outside of New York and Silicon Valley and how to spot homegrown entrepreneurship.

Wrap up Friday with the Silent Disco at the Jefferson Theater, an event that has sold out for the last three years.

Then on Saturday, three of Charlottesville top chefs will create an interpretation of a hometown favorite using local ingredients found in the farmers' market.

A fun event will be held at the Paramount Theater with comedians Colin Mochrie and Brad Sherwood delivering their signature improv, frequently seen on the show Whose Line Is It Anyway?

The Block Party will continue Saturday evening and the day will culminate with a parade led by the New Orleans-style group Elby Brass Band.

Then have fun with after party at Zocalo.

For more information on the schedule of events and locations, click on the link in the Related Links box.

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