Home Charlottesville Grand Illumination returns to the Downtown Mall on Friday

Charlottesville Grand Illumination returns to the Downtown Mall on Friday

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The City of Charlottesville and UVA Community Credit Union present the return of Charlottesville’s Grand Illumination to the Downtown Mall on Friday from 5–8 p.m. at Ting Pavilion and City Hall Plaza.

This spectacular community tree lighting event features music, food, games, prizes, special guests, and plenty of holiday fun for all ages. Admission is free and parking is complimentary at Market and Water Street garages beginning at 4 p.m.

Join at 7:15 p.m. for the countdown to Charlottesville’s Grand Illumination of the Holiday Tree and watch as 20,000 LED lights transform City Hall Plaza into a glowing wonderland. Plus, look out for a special visit from Santa and his North Pole friends.

The 30-year-old Norway Spruce was donated by Bob and Carol Brydge from Fishersville. They purchased their home in 1977 on 26 acres of land and used a portion of the land as a Christmas tree farm, planting over 10,000 trees in 40 years time. The majestic spruce stands 30-feet tall with a new tree topper at City Hall Plaza. A recent community tree naming poll dubbed the tree “Oatmeal,” honoring a scene from the beloved holiday classic “Frosty the Snowman.”


The Grand Illumination Holiday Concert brings 12 exciting musical acts to the Ting Pavilion stage and features America’s Got Talent favorites American Military Spouses Choir and Voices of Service. Performers include Wilson School of Dance, Erin & The Wildfire, Jessica Eldridge, Rebecca Porter, Theocles, Grayson Torrence, Berto & Vincent, Lora Kelley and the Choirs of CHS. And after the tree is lit, the celebration will continue with the Grand Illumination’s first After Party featuring swinging holiday music from Good Shot Judy.

More fun

Browse over two dozen Holiday Market vendors for tasty treats, holiday crafts and hot food and beverages, while our friends at Charlottesville Ale Trail serve up a great selection of local craft beers and wine.

It’s a kid-centric wonderland with bounce houses, face painting, games, and a fantastic ride on the Holiday Train. The Bridge Progressive Arts Initiative will provide an interactive artistic experience at the Free Speech Wall and Anna & Elsa will pose for pictures with you! Plus, local nonprofits and area businesses will give away goodies, raffles, and great info.

Local artist Doc Jim is well known for animating unique structures all over the Commonwealth and his artistic mastery will bring the Ting Pavilion to life with stunning projections!


Complimentary parking is available at Water and Market Street garages after 4 p.m. Security bag check stations will be set up at all entrances for the duration of the event, please consider arriving early to avoid waiting.

Vehicular Downtown Mall Crossings at 2nd and 4th streets will be closed at 4 p.m. City Hall and Annex parking lots at 7th Street and Key Rec Center will be closed at 2 p.m.

Keep informed

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