Downtown Richmond transforms into a spectacle of lights for the holidays when the buildings light up for the Grand Illumination, one of the city’s most-attended holiday events complete with a large Christmas tree and sparkly reindeer. Entertainment includes the Greater Richmond Children’s Choir, the Virginia Commonwealth University Trombone Choir, characters from the “Nutcracker” cast, the American Youth Harp Ensemble, and Big Ray and the Kool Kats. Get there early because it gets crowded fast. The Grand Illumination lights up the James Center on Friday, Dec. 2, at 6 p.m. Free. 344-3232.