Boulder Star: 10 Interesting Facts

by Rachel Daly
Published: Last Updated on
Boulder Star

Boulder’s beloved Flagstaff star shines over the city every year, signifying the start of the holiday season. The star’s presence has been a source of celebration, hope, controversy, and shenanigans throughout the years. The official star lighting will be virtual this year, and can be seen on the Boulder Chamber’s YouTube Channel on Veteran’s Day, November 11 at 6 PM. Here are 10 interesting facts about Boulder’s Flagstaff Star.

Please note: at this time, people are asked to not hike to the star or gather on the star’s grounds, to prevent erosion and to promote public health during the pandemic. Please enjoy the star from a distance.

#1 The Boulder’s star has been lit every year for the last 74 years, beginning in 1947.

#2 To honor veterans, the Boulder Chamber recently began lighting the star annually on Veteran’s Day.

Photo Courtesy Boulder Chamber

#3 The Star is made of 365 LED light bulbs.

#4 In 1951, the star was turned into an “A”, police suspected students from Colorado A&M college at Ft. Collins to be responsible.

Boulder Star

#5 In 1958, students from the School of Mines turned the Boulder star into an “M”, in retaliation for CU students’ pranks at the School of Mines campus.

Boulder Star

#6 During the 50’s, the bulbs were painted red multiple times. Police suspected a communist conspiracy.

#7 In 1969, the Boulder Star was turned into a peace sign by CU students.

#8 For many years, the star was changed into a cross every year at Easter. In 1970, the city council banned the Easter cross.

#9 During the 1980 Iran hostage crisis, Boulder kept the star lit for months to recognize the Americans who were being held hostage. Not everyone supported the gesture. A group called the “Monkey Wrench Gang” unscrewed all the light bulbs in protest, citing environmental concerns.

#10 In Spring of 2020, the Star was lit as a sign of hope during the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic.

#11 In March 2021, the star was lit for 10 nights in memory of the ten who lost their lives in the shooting at the Table Mesa King Soopers.

Boulder Star

Boulder Star: Frequently Asked Questions

When is the Boulder star lit?

The Boulder Star will be lit annually beginning on November 11 to celebrate and honor Veteran’s Day.

How long does the Boulder Star stay lit for?

Great question! The star shines beginning November 11 (Veteran’s Day) and is turned off for the season about two weeks into January.

Where is the Christmas star in Boulder?

The Boulder Star is located on Flagstaff Mountain. It was once a popular spot to visit, but at this time, people are asked to not hike to the star or gather on the star’s grounds, to prevent erosion and to promote public health during the pandemic. Please enjoy the star from a distance.

Who is in charge of the Boulder Star?

The Boulder Chamber of Commerce.

What is the Boulder Star?

The Boulder Star is a symbol of hope and a celebration of the holiday season. The Star is lit on November 11 (Veteran’s Day) stays lit all the way through the second week of January.

What time does the Boulder Star light up?

The Boulder star lights up shortly after dusk and turns on in the early morning before dawn.

How old is the Boulder Star?

The Boulder Star has been lit up annually for 74 years, it was first lit in 1947.

How do you see the Christmas Star in Boulder?

You can see the Boulder star from miles away, with the best views on the Boulder overlook (off Highway 36), from rooftops downtown, and from the CU campus, and from the Columbia Cemetery.

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