Grand Illumination

Daily Progress file

Community members watch as the tree is lit during Charlottesville’s Grand Illumination in November 2018.

Charlottesville will celebrate the 22nd annual Grand Illumination Friday at a new location at the Sprint Pavilion.

The event, sponsored by the City of Charlottesville and UVa Community Credit Union, will begin at 4:30 p.m.

The annual tree-lighting event features live music, kids’ crafts, activities, market vendors, Santa and friends, an outdoor holiday movie screening and over 20,000 LED bulbs illuminating a tree, which this year is dubbed “Spruce Springsteen.”

Bag checks will occur at entry points to the pavilion.

The city will provide complimentary parking after 4 p.m. at both Market and Water Street garages.

Event attendees will have access to a warming center located at the Herman Key Recreation building adjacent to Sprint Pavilion.

Building and Road closures

The Herman Key Recreation building will be closed to the general public from 2 until 10 p.m. Friday.

The 7th Street parking lot at City Hall and City Hall Annex will be closed from 2 until 10 p.m.

Additional ADA parking will be available on Market Street between 6th and 8th Streets from 2 until 10 p.m.

The vehicular crossings of the Downtown Mall at Second and Fourth Streets will be closed from 4 to 10 p.m. on Friday.

For more information and a detailed schedule, visit

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