Red, white and blue star.

Mill Mountain Star

Field review by the editors.

Roanoke, Virginia

Roanoke is known as both the "Star City of the South" and the "Only City with a Mountain Within Its Limits," so it logically follows that its citizens would want to construct a giant, glowing star on top of Mill Mountain. This is exactly what they did. The Star, built in 1949, is considered the "World's Largest Man-made illuminated Star,"* yet another claim to fame that Roanoke can add to its impressive roster.

The Mill Mountain star stands eighty-eight and a half feet tall. It uses 2000 feet of neon tubes and 17,500 watts of power, so it puts out a pleasant little hum. It's best appreciated at night, but before midnight, please, because that's when Roanoke goes to bed and turns the star off.

Behind the Star.

Since the Iraq War began, it has glowed red, white, and blue (The red-white-blue lighting theme originally appeared during the 1976 Bicentennial). It used to turn red whenever there was a traffic fatality or drunk driving accident in Roanoke Valley -- but that role has been ended.

People wanted a pretty star or a patriotic star, but not a mournful star.

* A tipster points out that the Franklin Mountains Star in El Paso, Texas spans 459 ft. of a steep slope, making it technically the largest man-made illuminated star. But we give points to Roanoke for standing up their star like the Hollywood sign.

Mill Mountain Star

Mill Mountain Park

210 Reserve Ave., Roanoke, VA
I-81 exit 143. I-581 exit 6. Right onto Elm Ave./Rte 24. Pass hospital, left at 2nd light onto Jefferson St. Left at 4th light onto Walnut Ave., which becomes Parkway Spur Rd. At top of mountain, right at Mill Mountain Park sign.. Trail to the star from the parking lot.
Park closes at 11 pm, star is turned off at midnight. (Call to verify) Local health policies may affect hours and access.
RA Rates:
Worth a Detour
Save to My Sights

Nearby Offbeat Places

Mini-Graceland, Elvis CityMini-Graceland, Elvis City, Roanoke, VA - < 1 mi.
Optimus PrimeOptimus Prime, Roanoke, VA - 1 mi.
Large Frying PanLarge Frying Pan, Roanoke, VA - 3 mi.
In the region:
King Kong Crushing Airplane, Natural Bridge, VA - 35 mi.

More Quirky Attractions in Virginia

Stories, reports and tips on tourist attractions and odd sights in Virginia.

Explore Thousands of Unique Roadside Landmarks!

Strange and amusing destinations in the US and Canada are our specialty. Start here.
Use's Attraction Maps to plan your next road trip.

September 24, 2020

My Sights

My Sights

Create and Save Your Own Crazy Road Trip!

Try My Sights

Roadside America app
Roadside Presidents app

Virginia Latest Tips and Stories

Latest Visitor Tips

Sight of the Week

Sight of the Week

Hat n' Boots, Seattle, Washington (Sep 21-27, 2020)

SotW Archive

USA and Canada Tips and Stories

More Sightings

Sightings. Arrives without warning. Leaves no burn marks. A free newsletter from Subscribe now! Hotel & Motel Finder

Special rates for hotels.

Book Now