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Grand Illumination to be broadcast for 2020

The annual Grand Illumination is moving to a broadcast event for 2020.

Charlottesville and the University of Virginia Community Credit Union announced Thursday the event will be a one-night-only broadcast and streaming event from 6:30 to 8 p.m. on NBC29 and CW29.

City officials are seeking “the perfect holiday tree and a diverse group of musical talent” for the event, according to a press release.

The coronavirus pandemic has made it unsafe to hold large in-person events such as the Grand Illumination.

The city is looking for trees about 30 feet tall, fully branched on all sides and accessible for removal by large equipment. Submission deadline is Oct. 23.

Once a tree is selected, a city representative will contact the owner to coordinate cutting and delivery of the tree at no cost.

When the tree is removed from the Downtown Mall in early January, it will be prepped for mulch and offered for free to the community.

To submit a tree for consideration, you can upload photos and contact info to, email photos and contact info to or call Joe Rice at (434) 409-8226.

Musical groups interested in auditioning should call Rice or email

For more information, visit


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