RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — RVA Illuminates is finally here! The 8News-sponsored event will bring families from all over the region to see the buildings of downtown Richmond light up and kickstart the holiday season.

8News spoke with local residents who shared their excitement for the lights.

“It’s a good atmosphere. Good energy. A lot of people are coming down,” said Asiki Branch.

Branch works right across from Kanawha Plaza, the venue for the event. He said RVA Illuminates always gets him in the holiday spirit.

“RVA, we’re going to celebrate. That’s what it’s about,” he said.

According to Branch, however, one of the challenges is how packed the event can get. This year, there will be street closures on East Canal Street, South 7th Street and South 8th Street. These closures will go into effect at 9 a.m. on Friday, Dec. 2.

Three streets in downtown Richmond will be closed for the RVA Illuminates event (Courtesy of Richmond Police Department)

There are multiple parking garages in the area — on East Canal Street, East Cary Street and South 9th Street — for those wanting to park close to the venue on Friday night.

“We’re out enjoying the air, family and friends,” Branch said. “Two years ago, we did it through zoom.”

Another local resident, Travis Miller, shared Branch’s excitement.

“It’s a pretty cool time,” Miller said. “I just treasure really celebrating the season and what it’s all about. Getting together with the family and really being with them.”

8News will be helping to flip the switch on the lights at 6 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 2.