Charlottesville's premier holiday event is free for all ages to enjoy and features a special holiday concert, fun kids' crafts, character photos, face painting, food vendors, a visit from Santa and friends, and over 20,000 LED lights illuminating Downtown Mall Central Place!
After the lighting of the tree, The Paramount Theater
will present a free screening of the classic holiday movie A Christmas Story
along with free popcorn!
We hope you can join us for an evening of music, celebration, and goodwill at this year's Grand Illumination!
Free parking will be available at the Market Street Garage after 5pm and at all metered street parking locations for the entire day.
Downtown Mall vehicle crossings at 2nd and 4th streets will be closed to all vehicular traffic from 4:30PM-10PM.
UVA Community Credit Union has joined the City of Charlottesville as Presenting Sponsor of the Grand Illumination for three years in a row and has been a tremendous partner for the City's signature holiday event.
Gold Sponsors include The AV Company, Ting Charlottesville, and the Paramount Theater.
"We are delighted to be a part of this annual tradition. It's a wonderful event that brings together the community with fantastic music, children's activities and of course a spectacular tree! UVA Community Credit Union is committed to the community and this event is a great way to be a part of something special. This is a wonderful way to start the holiday season,"
- Rebecca Cardwell, VP of Community Relations
UVA Community Credit Union
"This year marks the twentieth anniversary of Charlottesville's Grand Illumination, and over that span of time this event has grown into an all-out holiday celebration with music from local artists, food from market vendors, and activities provided by local businesses and organizations. Its clear that this event is not just for the community... its all about the community!"
- Miriam Dickler, Director of Communications
City of Charlottesville
ABOUT THE TREE
The community tree is a 25 foot Norway Spruce donated by Charlottesville resident Dwayne Ferguson. The previous owners purchased the tree from Southern States in 2000, used it as a family Christmas tree, and then planted it in the front yard of their home where it grew to full maturity over the last 18 years.
The tree and Downtown Central Place will be decorated with over 20,000 LED lights, donated by UVA Community Credit Union in 2015.
LIKE US on Facebook
for regular updates and interact with the Grand Illumination community #cvillegrand.
HOLIDAY CONCERT (5:30-8PM)
Join Andrea Copeland-Whitsett and Antonio Rice on the stage at Central Place as they host an amazing set of local musical talent, including: The Oratorio Society of Virginia, Black Voices, The Virginia Gentlemen, The Virginia Consort Carolers, The Children's Choir of Central Virginia, DMR Adventures, and many more!
SOCIAL MEDIA WALLÂ (5:30-8PM)
During the concert be sure to post a text or a photo on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram using #CVILLEGRAND and then watch yourself on the giant on-stage display!
COMMUNITY CARES & CRAFTS (5:30-7:30PM)
Kids can get creative with fun activity and craft tables provided by local businesses and organizations while parents can collect helpful information. Enjoy free face painting, balloon art, and photos with Mrs. Claus and friends as well!
As part of Community Cares & Crafts, Toy Lift Charities
will exchange a raffle ticket for every toy or cash donation dropped off between 5:30PM and 7:30PM for a chance to win gift certificates to participating downtown businesses. In addition, UVA Community Credit Union will give away a $250 gift certificate to one lucky winner. Make sure to stop by their table for a chance to win!
SPECIAL COUNTDOWN TO GRAND ILLUMINATION! (8PM)
Join us as for a very special countdown to the lighting of the community tree with a spectacular projection mapping display and then watch as over 20,000 LED lights turn Downtown Central Place into a glowing wonderland! Immediately afterwards we'll be visited by Santa Claus and a few of his North Pole friends!
FOOD VENDORS (5:30-8:30PM)
Enjoy a variety of food, tasty treats and beverages from local food vendors and Central Place restaurants!