CHARLOTTESVILLE, V.A. (WVIR) - The University of Virginia community is getting ready to officially ring in the holiday season.
Nearly 15,000 people are expected to pack the UVA Lawn Thursday, December 5, for the 19th annual Lighting of the Lawn.
The event started in 2001 as a way to remember those who lost their lives on September 11th. Since then, the tradition has grown to become a university-wide event with performances, refreshments, and a light show.
"In the past few years, we've been trying to make a lot more changes to make the event more environmentally friendly," Marketing Chair Ally Bollettino said.
Forty-five students make up the committee that spends the entire year planning for the Lighting of the Lawn. They work closely with UVA Facilities Management to string the lights and enforce safety measures.
“Facilities Management literally gets up at 3 a.m. on some mornings to practice the lights and make sure that everything works,” Programs Co-chair Ford Cleveland said. “Without them, we literally wouldn’t be able to put on the show.”
The UVA Lighting of the Lawn is set to kick off at 7 p.m., but organizers suggest folks arrive early in order to make it through security in time. A clear-bag policy is in place, and attendants will need to leave their pets and any outside food or drinks at home.
The light show will begin at 9 p.m., and will wrap up around 9:15 p.m.