Students Work To Save Saugatuck Holiday Star

Posted at 4:52 PM, Nov 16, 2012
and last updated 2012-11-16 18:16:43-05

SAUGATUCK, Mich. – A holiday star that has been shining over Saugatuck and Douglas for nearly 60 years is need of a serious upgrade after vandalism and wear and tear over the years.

Each year, around Thanksgiving, The Holiday Star a top Mount Baldhead is lit.  This year however it looked like the star had burned out until a plan was put into motion three weeks ago.

Inside the industrial arts classroom at Saugatuck High School, students are busy building a star.  The new star is being welded, sanded, and bolted together from aluminum.

“From point to point it’s 24 feet, the same as the last one,” said Alex DeWitt, a student at Saugatuck High.

The old star was made of wooden 2 x 4’s and ceramic light-bulbs.  Over the past few years it’s taken some abuse from mother nature.  Others have apparently left their mark in terms of firing pellet guns and swinging baseball bats at the star.

“Apparently it got vandalized so we need a new one, that’s what we’re building,” said DeWitt.

Aside from the holiday spirit, the students building the new star are learning some new skills.

“We were able to reduce some costs by doing this right here in the community instead of outsourcing it,” said Vince Heyser, the industrial arts teacher.

While students have invested 80 hours in the construction, they know it will pay off years to come.

Organizers hope to have new star completed by the Thanksgiving weekend.  When it’s done the fire department will hoist the new star into place as part of a training exercise.