Everyone is invited to come and see Botetourt’s own star, in the Craigs Creek valley, again this year.
Located two miles off Route 220 at Eagle Rock, it can be seen driving up Craig Creek Road toward Roaring Run. The 15-foot-wide frame structure is located half way up the ridge above the valley. The tradition was started by John Riddle, on his property in the 1960s, and is continued by Kevin Riddle today.
Originally, the metal frame was mounted on a fixed pole, and one had to use a ladder to maintain the wiring and bulbs during the lighting season. It was originally Kevin’s job to climb the ladder, 25 feet up in the air, and change the bulbs while his father held the ladder down below.
Several years ago, Kevin reconditioned the entire apparatus by designing and building a hinged type mounting base to make maintenance easier. The pattern of 50 individual bulbs was also changed to LEDs to make them brighter.
The Christmas Star will be illuminated throughout the season until New Year’s Eve to remind all of the meaning of the season. Everyone is invited to come out to see and enjoy it.
~ Fincastle Herald staff report