ORLANDO, Fla. – Thanksgiving is this Thursday, but it’s already starting to look a lot like Christmas in downtown Orlando.
It was all hands on deck Sunday morning in downtown Orlando as crews used cranes to begin raising the iconic, 600-pound Jack Kazanzas Star.
The star is now shining bright over the corner of Orange Avenue and Central Boulevard, and for Dee Dee Wagner, it’s a family affair.
“It’s a good way to start the week going into Thanksgiving,” Wagner said. “We have a contest every year with my son and my niece to see who spots the star first, so I guess I’m going the winner this year, and I actually got the video of it going up.”
It’s a big tradition dating back to the 1950s when competing downtown department stores Ivey’s and Dickson & Ives collaborated to hang the star between their businesses here above Central Boulevard.
Then back In 1984, lifelong Orlando resident Jack Kazanzas raised funds to replace the original star.
The new star was recently rewired with more than 4000 LEDs. It’s a symbol representing the beginning of the holiday season.
Many people downtown say seeing the star really gets them in the holiday spirit and that’s why they they look forward to it each year.
Thomas O’Connor watched on Sunday morning, too.
“I was proud to see it,” he said. “They’re putting it up a little early, but it is tradition.”
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