Downtown Events Coordinator


Harrisonburg Downtown Renaissance (HDR), a private nonprofit organization focused on economic development and community building in Historic Downtown Harrisonburg, is seeking a dynamic Downtown Events Coordinator. HDR is an award-winning Great American Main Street community and has been voted by the public as “The Best Use of Taxpayer’s Dollars” in the Daily News Record’s annual survey for 6 years in a row. Harrisonburg has received much national and state recognition – we were designated as Virginia’s first arts and cultural district; one of the 10 most exciting places in Virginia; the best place to be a millennial by Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine; and Virginia’s first culinary district to name a few.

The Downtown Events Coordinator has an opportunity to make a difference in Harrisonburg by helping to improve quality of life and community pride, create meaningful memories, and help bring greater exposure to Harrisonburg through enhanced tourism. The position has two main responsibilities – manage event planning and execution for Harrisonburg Downtown Renaissance (HDR) and serve as the City liaison for special event and street closing applications for events within City limits. For HDR, this position handles planning, executing, and supporting new and existing community events and festivals in Downtown Harrisonburg. This includes brainstorming new ideas, handling all logistics for HDR’s signature events, managing each event, coordinating committee members and volunteers, and supporting event promotions and marketing.  

As the City liaison for all special event and street closing requests, the incumbent will work directly with multiple city departments to coordinate the logistics. This position will also serve as the point of contact for Turner Pavilion reservations. 


  • The Downtown Events Coordinator is considered a regular, full-time position, working at the will of the HDR Executive Director. He or she will be trained and supervised by the Chief Marketing Officer.
  • Full-time (40 hours per week) salaried employee of HDR concerning compensation, benefits and policies as outlined in the Personnel Policy Manual of HDR (which includes health, dental & vision coverage and 3% match for employer-sponsored IRA retirement savings plan).
  • Salary range: $30,000 - 34,000.
  • HDR’s work culture offers employees flexible work hours, paid holidays and vacation, option for teleworking one day a week, professional development opportunities, and plenty of room for creativity in how staff approach their work.
  • Considered an exempt employee position not covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act overtime pay provisions and not compensated for work performed beyond regularly scheduled working hours.



  • Collaborate with City departments to coordinate permits, licenses, and street closings for events
  • Plan and implement creative programming at events
  • Negotiate contracts for services, rentals, venues, entertainers, etc.
  • Work with Chief Marketing Officer to coordinate marketing plan for events
  • Work with Chief Marketing Officer to communicate information about events to downtown businesses, and enlist support and involvement
  • Oversee day-of implementation and provide on-site support to staff, City personnel, and volunteers
  • Maintain strong relationships and communication with partnering organizations and event stakeholders
  • Attendance at all HDR-produced events (Valley Fourth, Block Party in the ‘Burg, Halloween on the Square, Veterans Day Celebration) as well as certain partnership events (Rocktown Beer & Music Festivals, Fall Rocktown Festival, First Night Harrisonburg) and other events as deemed appropriate by the Chief Marketing Officer. Events range in scale from 1,000 to 15,000+ attendees.


  • Identify and recruit committee members and volunteers for events
  • Work closely with committee members to define event goals, develop and monitor timelines, and implement plans that align with the missions of HDR and the City of Harrisonburg 
  • Coordinate volunteer responsibilities and oversee progress towards goals and timeline
  • Cultivate relationships with committee members and volunteers, including meaningful appreciation and role definition


  • Develop an evaluation framework to assess the strengths of events and to identify areas of improvement
  • Provide post-event analysis, budget recaps, and participant feedback 
  • Review, evaluate, and recommend strategies based on analysis


  • Act as City liaison for special event and street closing requests from outside organizations
  • Assist event organizers with application process, advise on application process improvements, and present event applications to City Council at evening meetings throughout the year
  • Coordinate with City departments the week of a special event to ensure logistics are covered
  • Field questions for the City Manager’s office regarding police support at private events, City regulations 



  • Applicant must possess a Bachelor’s degree and/or at least 3-5 years relevant professional experience in events management
  • Demonstrate a successful track record planning events in a highly visible position
  • Must be creative, flexible, motivated, and capable of coordinating public and private interests represented in the downtown area 
  • Excellent organizational, planning, project management, interpersonal and written communications, and customer service skills
  • Ability to work independently and as part of a team in a small office environment
  • Must be able to problem solve and handle unexpected issues that may arise during events with poise, professionalism, and patience
  • Proficiency in basic computer skills and advanced technologies (graphic design software, social media, etc.)


  • Knowledge of downtown Harrisonburg 

To Apply:

In order to be considered for this position, applicants must submit a cover letter and resume to Kim Kirk at Additional work samples and portfolio pieces are encouraged. 

The position will remain open until filled.