CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - The University of Virginia’s Lighting of the Lawn is usually a sign the holidays are just around the corner. But this year it’s also a sign of just how much has changed.
Every year the Lighting of the Lawn has been a favorite among the University of Virginia and Charlottesville communities.
But, as we all know by now, 2020 is quite a different year.
This year UVA students sang the ‘The Gold Old Song’ with each person recording themselves individually. It was a part of a pre-recorded, live-streamed video that had about 2,000 online viewers watching from home, observing the lights at the 20th Lighting of the Lawn.
“Especially during these times, I’m grateful for all who have made this show possible, and for those continuing the tradition of brightening the season,” said University President Jim Ryan.
The tradition had obvious differences, but also more subtle ones too. This is the first year the lighting of the rotunda is done on the north side, facing University Avenue.
“This new addition is symbolic of opening up lighting on the lawn to include the entire Charlottesville community as well as to any of our Hoos who cannot join us on grounds this semester,” said UVA student Hunter Fox.
It was a symbol of a message the University has been promoting for months, while trying to navigate a semester that involved testing and quarantines: keep Charlottesville safe, for all of us.
“It is through community, I believe, that we realize something deeper within us,” said Ryan. “A desire to fill the world with light and connection. And nothing could be more important in this time of distance and uncertainty.”
While the actual lighting was virtual, the lights are very much real. The University says you are welcome to see them in-person, but please remember to bring your mask and keep your distance.