A favorite tradition amongst University of Virginia students, faculty, and Charlottesville locals, the 17th annual Lighting of the Lawn takes place on Thursday November, 30th 2017. The event represents a celebration of the history of U.Va., Thomas Jefferson, and the beautiful Rotunda standing before the Academic Village, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Lighting of the Lawn first started in December of 2001 in order to brighten the school’s atmosphere after the tragic events of the September 11 terrorist attacks. Today, the Lighting of the Lawn tradition commemorates the inclusive culture of U.Va. and the surrounding Charlottesville community. Thousands gather on the Lawn every year in the chilly whether to cherish Jefferson’s beloved university. Help kick off the holiday season by experiencing the pure joy of this student-run light show.

With dozens of performances by a capella and dance groups starting at 7:00 pm, Lighting of the Lawn offers a variety of entertainment leading up to the main event, the illumination of the Rotunda. Before this grand finale, students enjoy the annual poem reading. A humorous tale of U.Va. life for first through fourth years, the poem excites the large crowd of students every year. After a momentous year on Grounds, including the Bicentennial, the poem is sure to impress visitors at the 17th annual Lighting of the Lawn. Finally, at 10:00 pm, LED bulbs light the entire Academic Village, complete with coordinated music, glow sticks, and florescent balloons.

With numerous university-run organizations as event sponsors, the 17th annual Lighting of the Lawn is the perfect blend of U.Va. and Charlottesville culture. The energetic light show is not only entertaining for all ages, but a memorable seasonal experience. Can’t make it to Grounds? Tune into the Lighting of the Lawn website to live stream the event!