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. 

Week of August 10th, 2020 Starlighters

August 10, 2020
The Star is being lit by Phillip in honor of  Nova Snyder Happy Birthday. We love you and miss you mom.


August 11, 2020
The Star is being lit by Friends and Family in honor of Charlie Hurtado. Happy Birthday to our angel, we love you always.


August 12, 2020
The Star is being lit by Brianda’s Friends in honor of In Loving Memory of Brianda Herrera. Forever our brightest star.


August 12, 2020
The Star is being lit by Diana Duron in honor of Mom. Mom you are greatly missed, we love you.


August 12, 2020
The Star is being lit by TFCU in honor of Jeannette Nava for being TFCU’s 1st Quarter 2020 Star of the Quarter. Congratulations for being a TFCU Star!


August 13, 2020
The Star is being lit by TFCU in honor of Tommy Zavala for being TFCU’s 2nd Quarter 2020 Star of the Quarter. Congratulations for being a TFCU Star!


August 14, 2020
The Star is being lit by The Pracht Family in honor of Doris Elliott. Gone but not forgotten birthday. Fond remembrance of a sweet friend.


August 15, 2020
The Star is being lit by Daughter Barbara G. Behne in honor of Robert H. Given. Happy Birthday in Heaven. Love u dad, Former Chamber President.