Charlottesville's Grand Illumination! Friday, December 3rd, 2021 from 5–8 pm at Ting Pavilion

The City of Charlottesville and UVA Community Credit Union present Charlottesville's Grand Illumination on Friday, December 3rd from 5–8 p.m. at Ting Pavilion!

This spectacular community tree lighting event features music, food, games, prizes, special guests, and plenty of holiday fun for all ages. Admission is free and parking is complimentary at Market and Water Street garages beginning at 4 p.m.!


The 30-year-old Norway Spruce was donated by Bob and Carol Brydge from Fishersville, VA. They purchased their home in 1977 on 26 aces of land and used a portion of the land as a Christmas tree farm, planting over 10,000 trees in 40 years time. The majestic spruce stands 30-feet tall with a new tree topper at City Hall Plaza. A recent community tree naming poll dubbed the tree "Oatmeal", honoring a scene from the beloved holiday classic Frosty the Snowman.


Grand Illumination Holiday Concert!

The Grand Illumination Holiday Concert brings 12 exciting musical acts to the pavilion stage and features America's Got Talent favorites American Military Spouses Choir and Voices of Service!

Performers include Wilson School of Dance, Erin & The Wildfire, Jessica Eldridge, Rebecca Porter, Theocles, Grayson Torrence, Berto & Vincent, Lora Kelley and the Choirs of CHS.

And after the tree is lit, the celebration will continue with the Grand Illumination's first After Party featuring swinging holiday music from Good Shot Judy!

Holiday Market & Charlottesville Ale Trail!

Browse over two dozen Holiday Market vendors for tasty treats, holiday crafts and hot food and beverages, while our friends at Charlottesville Ale Trail serve up a great selection of local craft beers and wine!

Games, Giveaways & Special Guests!

It’s a kid-centric wonderland with bounce houses, face painting, games, and a fantastic ride on the Holiday Train! The Bridge Progressive Arts Initiative will provide an interactive artistic experience at the Free Speech Wall and the Snow Sisters will pose for pictures with you! Plus, local nonprofits and area businesses will give away goodies, raffles, and great info!

Pavilion Projection Light Display!

Local artist Doc Jim is well known for animating unique structures all over the Commonwealth and his artistic mastery will bring the Ting Pavilion to life with stunning projections!

Countdown to Grand Illumination!

Join us at 7:15 p.m. as we count down to Charlottesville's Grand Illumination of "Oatmeal" the Holiday Tree and watch as 20,000 LED lights transform City Hall Plaza into a glowing wonderland! Plus, look out for a special visit from Santa and his North Pole friends!

GI21 Event Map

COVID Mask Policy & On-site Vaccinations

Masks are required for all event staff and strongly recommended for all attendees 2 years of age and older due to crowd congestion. The Blue Ridge Health District will be on-site to provide free COVID-19 vaccinations to those 5 years of age and older. No ID or insurance needed. Children under 18 years of age must be accompanied by a consenting adult.

Complimentary Parking, Security Measures & Street Closure Alert

Complimentary parking is available at Water and Market Street garages after 4 p.m. Security bag check stations will be set up at all entrances for the duration of the event, please consider arriving early to avoid waiting.

Vehicular Downtown Mall Crossings at 2nd and 4th streets will be closed at 4 pm on December 3rd. City Hall and Annex parking lots at 7th Street and Key Rec Center will be closed at 2 p.m.



Out of 3,359 votes, "Oatmeal" took a whopping 1,202 votes (35.8%)!

The name is definitely a fan favorite as it has made the top 3 in voting over the last few years. You may recognize it from the beloved television holiday classic "Frosty the Snowman" as an eager little boy wanted to give his magical snowman friend the endearing name, but was ultimately overruled by his peers.

That memorable scene has been melting the hearts of the viewing public ever since the program first aired back on December 7, 1969 and we have not had adequate opportunity to honor that little boy’s naming wish... until now!

Rounding out the other top vote getters: Chicken Tree 956 (28.5%), Treeyoncé Noels 240 (7.1%), Timotree Chalamet 225 (6.7%), Snoop Logg 222 (6.6%), Spruce Almighty 210 (6.3%), Sprucella Cville 187 (5.6%), and Fir Elton John 117 (3.5%)

GI21 Holiday Tree Installation Timelapse Video

Participate in Grand Illumination 2021!

If you would like to inquire about SPONSORSHIPS, email cvillegrand@charlottesville.gov (subject: GI21 Sponsorship) or text/call 434-409-8226.

If you are a LOCAL NONPROFIT ORGANIZATION interested in hosting a table, email cvillegrand@charlottesville.gov (subject: GI21 Nonprofit)

If you are a LOCAL FOOD/HOLIDAY CRAFT VENDOR interested in participating in the Grand Illumination Holiday Market, email cvillegrand@charlottesville.gov (subject: GI21 Holiday Market)

If you would like to inquire about VOLUNTEER opportunities, email cvillegrand@charlottesville.gov (subject: GI21 Volunteer)



City of Charlottesville • UVA Community Credit Union






The AV Company


Z95.1 WQMZ-FM • C-ville Weekly • The Daily Progress

More Event Sponsors

BOUNCE Play-n-CreateThe Bridge PAICharlottesville Parks & RecreationReinbow Miniatures • Ting Pavilion • Zilog80.com


Follow @cvillegrand on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and use #cvillegrand!

Have questions? Email cvillegrand@charlottesville.gov or call 434-409-8226

Created By
City of Charlottesville


Rob Garland Photographers