Sky Watch Friday: Roanoke Star

The Roanoke Star, sits at the top of Mill Mountain in Virginia. It weighs 10,000 lbs. and its height is 88.5 feet, making it the world’s largest freestanding illuminated man-made star.

It was constructed in 1949 by Roy C. Kinsey, then owner of Kinsey Sign Co., along with his three sons, Roy Jr., Bob, and Warren. Bob and Warren designed and built the neon tubing still used today.

The Roanoke Merchants Association commissioned the project to serve as a seasonal, Christmas decoration to shine over the city during the holiday shopping season. The original plan was to dismantle the star when the holiday season ended.

The Roanoke Star was lit for the first time on Thanksgiving Eve, November 23, 1949, by then mayor A.R. Minton and  earned Roanoke the nickname “Star City of the South”. It’s visible for 60 miles from the air and it sits 1,045 feet above the city of Roanoke.

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The “Star” is actually three stars – a small star in the center, enveloped by a larger, mid-sized frame, and surrounded by the largest outer frame. Each frame contains three to five sets of clear neon tubes.
The star burns white year-round but is illuminated red, white, and blue on Memorial Day (May), Flag Day (June 14), July 4, Sept. 11, and Veteran’s Day (Nov. 11).

The Roanoke Star

The Roanoke Star

Some additional information

Some additional information

View of Roanoke from atop Mill Mountain where the Roanoke Star is perched.

View of Roanoke from atop Mill Mountain where the Roanoke Star is perched.

For more information on this challenge visit here: http://skyley.blogspot.com/2008/06/da-rulez.html

7 thoughts on “Sky Watch Friday: Roanoke Star

  1. That’s really cool and much fancier than the cross that sat on a hill overlooking one of our neighboring communities. You definitely couldn’t see the cross for 60 miles, more like 3!

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  2. Beautiful view from the mountain! I bet that star looks awesome at night all lit up.
    In my city, at Devil’s Punchbowl, there is a cross about 15ft high and at night, when illuminated, you can see it from miles around. 🙂

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