Charlottesville Illuminates Annual Holiday Tree - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Charlottesville Illuminates Annual Holiday Tree

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Every year, the Grand Illumination of Charlottesville's holiday tree serves as the kickoff to the season.

NBC29's own Jennifer Von Reuter flipped the switch for this year's tree on Friday night.

About an hour before the tree was lit, people were already trying to get the spot with the best possible view. Now the 22-foot tree is up, and the downtown mall has been transformed into a winter wonderland.

At the illumination, there was caroling as and activities for children. Organizers say the tree is a very traditional one with various ornaments, nearly 20,000 white lights and a star as the tree topper.

The community was asked to sign large wooden numbers to be mounted up behind the tree to celebrate Charlottesville's 250th birthday.

"Hopefully everybody's had a great day, and now they're going to come out this evening to celebrate the holidays, really the official kickoff to the holiday season," said Bob Stroh of the Charlottesville Downtown Business Association.

There was also a magic show, and even a visit from the Grinch.

The tree will stay lit through the holiday season, up until the new year. For those who missed the illumination, the city of Charlottesville has a plethora of other holiday events planned throughout the season.

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