The iconic Roanoke Star has been recognized as one of Virginia's "Best 'Do Not Miss' Tourist Attractions" in the new Best of Virginia issue by Virginia Living magazine.

Located atop Mill Mountain in the heart of Virginia's Blue Ridge, the Roanoke Star was erected in 1949 and illuminated for the first time on November 23, 1949.

Sponsored by the Roanoke Merchants Association, the initial concept behind building the star was for it to serve as a seasonal, holiday decoration that would shine over the city during the holiday shopping season.

However, because of its immediate popularity, the Merchants Association and local community decided that the star should stay lit throughout the year.

Now, it stands as one of the most unique symbols in Virginia and is one of the first places visitors go when they arrive in Virginia's Blue Ridge.

Whether you're standing in awe of the 88.5 foot structure that's illuminated every night by over 2,000 feet of neon tubing, or taking in the breathtaking panoramic view from the overlook at the base of the Star, it's an unforgettable experience.

The Star, which is actually three stars, was constructed by Roy C. Kinsey and his three sons, Roy Jr., Bob and Warren.

Check out the following video and interview with Bob Kinsey to learn more about the creation of the Roanoke Star and how it became an "Accidental Icon."

Credits to:
Dave Perry Cinematographer, LLC -  Film and editing
Todd Marcum - Producer
Carrie West / Juliet Anderson - Assistant editors

This piece is from an upcoming documentary on the history of advertising in Roanoke. Please visit and follow for the latest news regarding the Roanoke Ad History Project. 

As one of Virginia's "Best Do Not Miss Tourist Attractions," the Roanoke Star is one of many attractions to check out when you visit Virginia's Blue Ridge. Click here to see the full list of local businesses and events from Virginia's Blue Ridge featured in the Best of Virginia 2016 awards by Virginia Living. You can visit the magazine's website to purchase a copy of the issue.