Sunday, December 12, 2010

Found “baby star” from Roanoke Star construction era

(Roanoke, VA)-In the same year that the Mill Mountain Star first shared its glow with the Roanoke Valley, one hundred “baby stars” were made to adorn street lamps throughout Downtown Roanoke. Decades after their disappearance, one baby star has come home to Roanoke for permanent display at the Virginia Museum of Transportation. The star will be lit in a ceremony to recognize its festive holiday heritage on December 14 at 5:30 pm. The event is free and the public is invited to attend.

Both the big, beloved neon star on Mill Mountain and the baby neon stars were made by the Roy C. Kinsey Sign Co. for the Roanoke Merchants Association in 1949. They were all first lit on the same night-November 23,1949-both the 100-ft star on Mill Mountain and the 100 3-ft stars that hung along Campbell and Church Avenues and Jefferson Street.

The baby stars were used as Christmas decorations in Roanoke through the 1960s, when 23 were sold to the Town of Floyd. The stars illuminated Floyd for the holidays for two decades, but were eventually discarded on a hillside in the 1980s. Their existence was rediscovered last year during the 60th Anniversary Celebration for the Mill Mountain Star.

The Town of Floyd very generously donated one of the stars to the Virginia Museum of Transportation to be hung in honor of a much-beloved chapter of Roanoke’s history. The star has been restored by Budget Signs and will hang in the Museum’s Advance Auto Parts Auto Gallery, to shine down once more on cars from the forties, fifties and sixties as it did during the holidays long ago.

“We are so honored and grateful to the Town of Floyd for the gift of this precious star,” said museum executive director Beverly T. Fitzpatrick, Jr. “I guess this really makes us one of Roanoke’s ‘star’ attractions, and we invite everybody to come see it!”

Posted By Valerie Garner

Categories: Local Events



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