Star on the Mountain

The very first star on the south side of the Franklin Mountains was built by the El Paso Electric Company in 1940. At the time it was only 50 feet wide and could barely be seen on the Carlsbad Highway. It also did not last long; a storm blew out most of the bulbs.

Soon after, another star was built bigger and better. It was 403 feet long, 300 feet wide and used 300 light bulbs. More improvements were made in 1946: the length was increased to 459 feet, the width reduced to 278 feet and 459 light bulbs were used. It was then that lighting the “Star on the Mountain,” became an El Paso tradition during the Christmas season.

Today the Star has the same dimensions as in 1946. It sits at an angle of 30 degrees and appears to be “perfect” at its focal point at the intersection of Texas and Alameda Avenues. The poles are staggered up and down the mountain for the distance of 459 feet; starting at the mountain top, and run down to a point about 200 feet above Scenic Drive.

From its lofty height, the Star may be seen from the east for 100 miles from the air and some 30 miles from the ground. Pilots are known to use the Star as an orientation point. There are approximately 30 streamers that are hooked onto guy wire cables forming the Star and are pulled into position.

Since World War II the star has been lit each and every year; however some schedule changes were made. During the energy crisis in the 70’s the schedule was reduced. In 1980 the Star remained lit for 444 days (until January 21, 1981) during the Iran hostage crisis. In 1990, during the Gulf War, the Star once again remained lit (until August 21, 1991) in support of Fort Bliss and all US troops stationed with Operation Desert Storm.

Through the efforts of the El Paso Chamber and support from private citizens, businesses and community organizations, The Star on the Mountain now shines bright each and every night at dusk. El Paso is proud of its new image of the ” Star City ” in the Lone Star State.

Starlighting costs $50 per night. You will receive a complimentary Starlighter Certificate with each night you purchase. Additional certificates can be requested and are $5 each. Star lighter announcements will be in the Sunday El Paso Times the week following your lighting, please note that the El Paso Times listing is done as a courtesy therefore, is not a guarantee. Please submit a request at least 7 days in advance. Multiple lightings announcements may occur on the same day. 

This week’s listings

July 1st

The Star is being lit by EPCC AWCC. In honor of the EPCC AWCC 2020 Scholarship Recipients: Iris Anguiano, Salma Duarte, Berenice Flores, Brenda Herrera, and Gloria Sepulveda. Congratulations AWCC 2020 Scholars.


July 2nd

The Star is being lit by Adrianna Bohls. In loving memory of Kevin Alexander Bohls. I miss you every second of my life.


July 4th

The Star is being lit by The Anaya- Dyer Families. In loving memory of Rosaleen Malooly Evans. Your love and musical talents live on!


July 4th

The Star is being lit by Kendall Carnie. In loving memory of Robert B. Armstrong Jr. I know Bobby’s light is still shining!


July 4th

The Star is being lit by Jaime and Irma Sanchez. In loving memory of Hilary Stanislause De Souza. Papy was a bright shining star to all!