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WATCH: Richmond’s Grand Illumination

Posted at 7:08 PM, Dec 04, 2013

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR)--The city skyline will soon be lit up for the holidays.

Thousands of people will head into the city for the dazzling tradition of watching the Grand illumination. Santa will do the honors and hit the switch at 6 p.m. Friday, Dec. 6.

After the power surge, entertainment continues through 8 p.m. at the James Center complex, just off Cary Street between 9th and 12th streets. Shelly Perkins of Lite98 is once again the Snow Queen host.

Evening entertainment will include the Greater Richmond Children’s Choir, The American Youth Harp Ensemble, characters from the Nutcracker, characters from ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas, Snow Bear, the VCU Trombone Choir, singer Patsy Butler, the Virginia Piedmont & Central HO Model Railroad Club and much more.

There is plenty of parking, 1,600 spots to be precise, under the James Center. The events coordinator said that the spots never fill up, even at just $3 to park. This deck can be accessed off Canal Street, or Cary Street.

A lot of people will be parking near the state Capitol and walking down to the James Center. The lighting of that tree is at 5:15 p.m. Friday.

Check out the map below to locate food vendors, stages and parking.

Vendor’s include Wendy’s, MacBrand Foods, Tri-Cities Concessions, Strawberry Street Café, Iman Fetstivals, Nader’s Bistro, Arby’s, and Starbucks. Free hot cider will be available at the James Center YMCA.

Gift drop-off for Greater Richmond SCAN (Stop Child Abuse Now) will be at the corner of 9th and Cary Streets.

Just look for the collection sleigh located in the Three James Center Lobby.

Each winter, SCAN collects gifts for children served in its programs. Last fiscal year, SCAN served more than 800 children affected by abuse and neglect. They accept donated toys, clothing and other gifts for children from infant to 17-years-old.

You can drop off during the Grand Illumination or at SCAN's office by December 13; at 103 E. Grace Street.