It's a tradition that dates back several decades. 360 bulbs burning brightly above Anchorage, as the star on Mt. Gordon Lyon was illuminated Friday.
"I get a lot of comments on the Facebook page from people that moved out of state that miss seeing the star," said Donnie Bull, who's been in charge of maintaining the structure since 2003. "A lot of people grew up with it, they're used to seeing it."
The star will stay lit until after the Iditarod in March, then comeback on for one night: September 11th.
The tradition of the star dates back almost to the beginning of the Cold War. It sits next to a nuclear missile silo that housed warheads for several decades. Legend has it, the star was built by a soldier patrolling the area.
"I don't know that soldier's name," said Bull.
Maintaining the star is more than just flipping it on and off. It can mean several trips up the mountain either by car or snow machine.
"There's talk of replacing all the bulbs, with LED energy efficient bulbs. We're waiting on something that can handle the weather. There's a lot of abuse up there, the rain, wind and moisture from the snow."
The star has a sensor that cuts power at sunrise and turns it back on at sunset.
Contact Adam Pinsker