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UVA celebrates the 18th annual Lighting of the Lawn

university of virginia uvaUVA will be hosting its 18th annual, student-led Lighting of the Lawn on Thursday, Dec. 5, from 7-9:15 p.m.

Lighting of the Lawn is a family-friendly event open to the public that was created in the wake of the attacks on September 11th 18 years ago in order to bring the Charlottesville community together. Today, Lighting of the Lawn still does this, including over 15,000 attendees each year from the Charlottesville and UVA Community. Also known as LOTL, Lighting of the Lawn acts as both a reflective and celebrative event and an opportunity to merge the Charlottesville and UVA communities.

This year’s LOTL will be the brightest one yet, with all new LED string lights to illuminate the Lawn, Pavilions, and the historic Rotunda. The program includes performances by a capella, dance, and community groups. At 9 PM, a special poem written by UVA students will be read, followed by the student-designed light show which will conclude at 9:15 PM. There will be food trucks from local Charlottesville restaurants, Tako Nako, Good Waffle, and YumYum Express. There will also be a reception on South Lawn which is open to the public with free cookies and hot chocolate, cotton candy, free t-shirts from the Chris Long foundation, flash tattoos, and more.

New This Year

You can download the LOTL app by searching “Lighting of the Lawn” on the Apple App Store. The app contains important security information, event norms, event maps, including entry points, restrooms, emergency services, event maps, and ADA accessibility information. An alternate viewing location will be available in the Newcomb Theatre at UVA.

Not able to make it to Charlottesville for the event? No problem! You can watch the entire performance and light show online at

Security Details

The event runs from 7-9:15 PM, with the Light Show beginning at 9PM.

There will be metal detectors. To expedite the security process: Do arrive at least 45 minutes prior to the event; Don’t bring a bag or any other items unless absolutely necessary; Do expect to wait longer if you bring a bag or other items that need inspecting; Do expect to be delayed getting into the event if you arrive 45 minutes or less prior to the event start time.

Security gates open at 6:00pm. You can bring a bag or backpack. However, your bag will be searched. Please make sure you go through the bag check-line and not the regular line. You can bring an empty water bottle and can fill it inside the event.

Note: To get through security more quickly, we encourage you to leave your bags at home.

Prohibited items include: liquids, including all beverages; folding chairs; tents; glass; sticks and poles (including athletic equipment); drones; weapons, fireworks, explosives; and animals (other than service animals).

Lighting of the Lawn began in the wake of the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, when a group of students gathered on the Lawn to bring the University community together for a moment of reflection. These same students had the bright idea to strand lights together in an attempt to eradicate the darkness. Since then, Lighting of the Lawn (LOTL) has grown immensely, with a cappella and dance performances and a student-made light show.

augusta free press
augusta free press