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Lisa Call, The Dickinson Press, Published December 05 2009

Star brightens city of Dickinson

For more than 40 years, a shining beacon has lit up the Dickinson, N.D., skyline each holiday season, and it began this year’s glistening glow this past Monday evening.

Atop the highest point in Youngs Park, also known as Rocky Butte Park, towers a 40-foot metal fabricated star covered in large bulbs.

Gene Hoyt of Dickinson recalls his father Donn Hoyt, also of Dickinson, constructing the star in the early ’60s.

Though not completely sure of the purpose behind the star’s construction, Gene Hoyt thinks it may have had something to do with his father’s involvement with the city’s Chamber of Commerce.

Now maintained by the street department, the city pays for the electricity, says Ken Kussy, public works manager.

“It’s been upgraded a couple times because kids shoot the bulbs and the wiring went to heck on it,” Kussy says.

The towering star lights up the city skyline from 4 p.m. to 1 a.m. daily, says Ed Krank, assistant public works manager.

The star is supposed to be taken down shortly after New Year’s Day, but can stay longer depending on snow conditions, Krank says.

“Last year we had so much snow, to even get up in there, it was probably a lot longer than that,” Kussy said.

While the star may seem like a mysterious entity magically appearing each year to some children, the star can have a deeper meaning for others.

Sister Annette Dobitz, who lives in the convent on Trinity High School’s campus, says the sisters can see the star from their home.

“It’s always nice to look out and, besides the normal stars, to be able to see the star that they have put up,” Dobitz says. “I think the star that was present probably at the first Christmas, or that led the three kings to worship the infant Jesus, it’s that memory.”

The Dickinson Press is owned by Forum Communications Co.