The 100ft neon star at the top of Mill Mountain in Roanoke, a city on the East Coast of the United States, is comfortably the most distinctive man-made landmark in the Blue Ridge Mountains. After all, it’s a 100ft neon star and it’s on top of a mountain. Come on now.
It also happens to be surrounded by a plethora of mountain bike trails, and there’s something quite comforting about that, isn’t there? If the number one attraction on TripAdvisor is also a hotspot for mountain biking then you can safely presume that the place is probably a ‘mountain biking town’ by definition, and that you’re going to meet a lot of ‘mountain people’ while you’re there; the type that don’t mind if you’re covered in mud and won’t ask if you’ve ever competed in the Tour de France when they hear you’re there to ride a bicycle.
“The Roanoke Star has at least 94ft on the Bollywood legend”
The Roanoke Star is the largest freestanding star this side of the stratosphere. A quick Google search for the ‘biggest star in the world’ suggests that Indian film star Shah Rukh Khan is actually the biggest star in the world of course, but we doubled checked the maths on and Kahn is only 5ft 8”, so the Roanoke Star has at least 94ft on the Bollywood legend.
The star was originally installed on the 1738ft Mill Mountain in 1949 as a Christmas decoration, but like a student household who leave their fake Christmas tree up so long that eventually, there’s not much point taking it down at all, the locals in Roanoke liked the star so much that they decided to make it a permanent feature, and it’s now an icon of Virginia’s Blue Ridge. Rigged up with 2000ft of neon tubing, the star lights up each night, and on the way up to the star, and particularly on the way back down, there’s a lot of fun to be had.