Every year Charlottesville has a Grand Illumination. I first heard about a Grand Illumination in Williamsburg.
A grand illumination is an outdoor ceremony involving the simultaneous activation of lights. The most common form of the ceremony involves turning on Christmas lights.
One of the older of such community events began at Colonial Williamsburg, the restored Historic District of the former Virginia capital city of Williamsburg in 1935. It is held there each year on the Sunday of the first full weekend in December. (That is, if December begins on a Sunday, the event is held the following Sunday.) Williamsburg’s Grand Illumination, which also involves fireworks, is based loosely on the colonial (and English) tradition of placing lighted candles in the windows of homes and public buildings to celebrate a special event. The winning of a war and the birthday of the reigning monarch are examples of such national events. Many candles appeared in darkened windows in New York after the September 11, 2001 attacks.
Although this is our fourth Christmas in Charlottesville, it is the first time I remember them having a Christmas tree naming contest. Our local community Christmas tree was recently named. Spruce Bader Ginsburg won over Dr. Fau-tree and Alex Tree-beck. Another contender was Spruce Springsteen. (Good thing it was a Spruce tree this year.)
The tree was donated by an anonymous donor in response to the City’s annual does your tree make the cut contest.
Tree candidates are ideally about 30 feet tall, fully branched on all sides, accessible for removal by large equipment, and nearing the end of its life or needing to be removed for other reasons. Submission deadline is Friday, October 23, 2020.