"Starry Night" but Make It Boulder

The tradition that just appears one day out of the blue and you spend more days talking about when you’re going to go than actually going: the Boulder Star. Well actually, after a quick search, the Flagstaff Star. Here’s a quick history on the lights that we continue to cherish each holiday season even though it’s nearly impossible to climb it without falling at least once. 


The star was first lit in December of 1947. As years have passed, it has become a tradition for it to shine from Veteran’s Day on November 11th to early January. The formation was originally switched between a star for Christmas and a cross for Easter, but by the 1970s, debates about Christian symbols and a violation of church and state yielded only a formation of the star to remain. 

Daily Camera

According to Your Boulder, it became a target for university rivals, too. CU’s rivals from Fort Collins (and as if I needed a reason to rage at CSU anymore…) rearranged the star’s light as an ‘A’ when they were still named Colorado A&M in the 1950s. Colorado School of Mines followed suit by forming the star to an ‘M.’ In the 1960s, the bulbs were repeatedly painted red to recreate the symbol of communism. By 1969, the star was rearranged into a peace sign. In the 1980s, environmentalists cut down wires and removed the bulbs to protest against the wasted energy. 


The star is now the perfect place for a photoshoot, a first date (or maybe a second?), or a place to freeze with your friends (there will be a minimum of four stumbles, someone probably wore shoes with zero support or traction, and “I should’ve worn gloves” will be said at least twice). 

Boulder Convention and Visitors Bureau

The star is supported by the Boulder Chamber of Commerce, who sponsored the effort to make the star more environmentally friendly by replaced the 365 bulbs with low energy LED lightbulbs and the use of wind power. The upkeep of the star isn’t cheap. You can support the star by purchasing the star card, designed by Kathleen Lanzoni. You can purchase them at Art Mart, Hotel Boulderado, Lucky’s Market North, McGuckin Hardware, Wonder Wonder and others, or you can buy them online

Boulder Chamber