|Star City Radio
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STAR CITY RADIO
Facing the Star, the Roanoke StarCam is looking
out on the Star City from tip of the "right arm" of the
The image below is a live shot from the actual
Roanoke Star high atop Mill Mountain in beautiful
(NOTE: Seems to only work with Explorer browser at
Height of Star - 88.5 ft.
Weight of Star - 10,000 lbs
Height Above Sea Level - 1,847 ft.
Height Above City - 1,045 ft.
Visibility From Air - 60 mi.
Cost To Build - $28,000
At 8:22 p.m. November 23, 1949, on a chilly Thanksgiving Eve, Roanoke Mayor, A.R. Minton, threw a switch and
illuminated the Roanoke Star for the first time. It was over 50 years ago Roanoke earned the nickname, "Star City of the
South," and the star has been a part of the landscape of Mill Mountain ever since.
Why was the Star constructed in the first place ? The purpose for erecting the star was to serve as a seasonal,
Christmas decoration to shine over the city during the brisk holiday shopping season of 1949. The project was
sponsored by the Roanoke Merchants Association. The original plan was to dismantle the star when the holiday season
ended. John Payne, a Roanoke native and, at the time, a Hollywood leading man, came to Roanoke to add his celebrity
status to the formal lighting ceremony. Less than 100 people braved the cold night to stand under the star as it was
Who built the Star ? Roy C. Kinsey, then owner of Kinsey Sign Co., built it along with his three sons, Roy Jr., Bob,
and Warren. Bob and Warren designed and built the neon tubing still used today. Originally, the star shone only in white,
but is currently glowing in red, white and blue due to the tragic events of 9/11. 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.
Source - RoanokeVA.Gov
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