Heartier fare was for sale from food trucks on the South Lawn near the Homer statue, where hungry folks loaded up Filipino BBQ, chicken adobo tacos and spring rolls.
The program began at 7 p.m. with introductory remarks by this year’s Lighting of the Lawn co-chairs, fourth-year students Emma Sisk and Zach Steele. Then came the festive entertainment.
One by one, 16 student groups took to a stage erected in front of a darkened Rotunda to perform for the ever-growing crowd. The University Singers kicked off the evening and were followed by the K-Edge Dance Crew, the Virginia Dance Company and more.
As the performances came to an end, members of the audience joined in for a rendition of “The Good Old Song.” Then, the moment of truth: Music began to pulse and long strands of lights affixed to the exterior of Rotunda began coming to life, triggering a 15-minute dance party.
More than 11,000 lights adorning the Rotunda and Lawn are powered by solar energy and were strung by UVA’s Facilities Management team. Sun Tribe, a solar company based in Charlottesville, provides the four solar panels used to power the lights, supplying 1,300 total kilowatts of power. The Lawn will remain illuminated for the remainder of the month.