He also argued that the expected 2,000 counter-protesters coming to town to oppose white nationalists and other groups were not part of the two rallies planned for the downtown parks, but would follow Kessler's rally wherever it is held.
The torch-lit rally comes after a federal judge granted a temporary injunction, allowing the Unite the Right rally to be held at Emancipation Park on Saturday.
"I want to urge my fellow Virginians who may consider joining either in support or opposition to the planned rally to make alternative plans", said McAuliffe.
Charlottesville officials negotiated with the protest's organizer, Jason Kessler, to move it to McIntire Park due to "safety and logistical reasons".
McAuliffe, a Democrat, said numerous people at the rally will "express viewpoints many people, including me, find abhorrent".
Response teams from Richmond will be in Charlottesville this weekend, and the Virginia National Guard is on standby. As long as that expression is peaceful, that is their right.More news: Diamondbacks unable to rally, fall 3-2
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The judge came down with a decision around 8 p.m. Friday.
The rally is expected to draw at least 1,000 participants, according to an affidavit from Charlottesville Police Chief Al Thomas, which was provided to ABC News from the ACLU.
"There is no doubt that Mr. Kessler has a First Amendment right to hold a demonstration and to express his views", the city manager wrote in a statement on August 7.
The Rutherford Institute and ACLU said the move violates Kessler's First Amendment rights.
The Mayor has weighed in tonight after seeing tonight's first wave, and had this to say: "Everyone has a right under the First Amendment to express their opinion peaceably, so here's mine: not only as the Mayor of Charlottesville, but as a UVA faculty member and alumnus, I am beyond disgusted by this unsanctioned and despicable display of visual intimidation on a college campus".
Kessler organized the Saturday rally to protest Charlottesville's decision to remove a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee from Emancipation Park.