Charlottesville Communications Office Press Release:

CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA - The city of Charlottesville, Ting and UVA Community Credit Union present Charlottesville's 21st Annual Grand Illumination on Friday, November 30 from 5:30–7:30 p.m. at Central Place on the Downtown Mall!

The city's signature holiday event features a holiday concert, kids' crafts, fun activities, photos with Mrs. Claus and friends, face painting, balloons, City Market vendors, interactive projection displays, a visit from Santa, and over 20,000 LED bulbs illuminating Downtown Central Place!

After the lighting of the tree, The Paramount Theater will present a free showing of the classic holiday movie "Home Alone" at 8 p.m. on the big screen!

Be sure to like us on Facebook and follow cvillegrand on Instagram and Twitter. Post a photo using #cvillegrand and watch it displayed on the Social Wall during the concert!


The city of Charlottesville is happy to provide complimentary parking after 4 p.m. at Market and Water Street garages on the evening of Grand Illumination.


2nd Street SW and 4th Street SE on the Downtown Mall will be closed to all vehicular traffic from 4:30–9 p.m.


UVA Community Credit Union and Ting will present Grand Illumination 2018 along with the city of Charlottesville. This will be UVA Community Credit Union's fourth year as presenting sponsor and Ting's first.

"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

"Ting is proud to be a part of Charlottesville's 21st Grand Illumination. We are busy lighting homes and businesses with fiber Internet, so it's fitting that we are helping light our community tree which will bring joy to so many local residents throughout the holiday season. We can't wait to celebrate with the community on Friday!" -Drew Hurst, Marketing Manager, Ting

"Charlottesville's Grand Illumination has been a local holiday tradition for over 20 years, but in the last few years it has truly grown into a spectacular holiday event that is now attracting people from all over the region. None of this would have been possible without the tremendous support of our community partners," -Joe Rice, Deputy Director of Communications, city of Charlottesville


The Grand Illumination tree is a 25-year-old, 25-foot Norway Spruce donated by the Vermillion family. The tree is one of many left over from their old Christmas Tree Farm that closed in the late-80s.

The tree and Downtown Central Place will be decorated with over 20,000 LED lights, donated by UVA Community Credit Union in 2015.

The tree's nickname is "Spruce Willis" which garnered close to 600 votes in an online social media community poll.


The show must go on! Join the holiday festivities inside The Paramount Theater and watch a Grand Illumination live stream on the big screen! Times for all events will remain the same.