It might seem strange to tell someone that you are going to visit a star on vacation, but it might be one of the neatest, and oddest, things you will have done in a while.
At Mill Mountain Star and Park you can see one of the world’s largest illuminated stars. Since 1949, this star has hung over the city of Roanoke, Virginia.
The star itself sits on top of a mountain and is beautifully decorated in red, white, and blue lights.
The star is over 80 feet high.
The lights are actually made from neon tubes – 2,000 feet to be exact and uses so much power that you can actually hear it humming.
The original color of the lights were actually just white as this was actually built for the start of the Christmas shopping season over 50 years ago, but the town liked it so much that they have kept it a permanent fixture on top of Mill Mountain.
During the bicentennial year’s events, the colors were changed to red, white, and blue but then changed back. After the attacks on the Trade Center and the Pentagon in the fall of 2001, the colors were then changed back to the ever patriotic red, white, and blue, and so it remains today.
There are a few neon tubes that are original, but most have been replaced during those times and others when the star needed some updating to save on electricity as you can imagine how high the bill is every month.
The mountain itself stands well above sea level at around 1,740 feet high.
You can really imagine the fantastic views one can get from being up that high. It is really a fantastic spot for picnics or to just view the city lights below.
Roanoke is often referred to as “the star of the south” and now you can imagine how this city got its nickname.
There are some other things to do on Mill Mountain besides just seeing the star like visiting the small children’s zoo built nearby.
While the zoo is smaller than most you have probably been to in the past, it still would be a nice place to go before venturing out and seeing this neat star.
You will need to see the star before midnight, as this is the time the city shuts off the lights. Of course this shouldn’t be a problem as the zoo closes early enough to allow you a lot of time for an evening picnic and a look at the star as well as some time to view the surroundings and view on top of Mill Mountain.