ORLANDO, Fla.– A symbol that begins the holiday season in downtown Orlando has more significance this year throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
2020 has been unlike any other year, but the custom of raising the “Jack Kazanzas” star is still shining bright.
Dani Marchese and Mike Chatham were some of the observers who stopped Sunday early morning to watch crews with the City of Orlando and electricians hoist the renowned star above Orange Avenue and Central Boulevard.
“We live right around the corner and just thought we ‘d boil down and support the city,” Marchese said.
The raising of the 600-pound golden star is a tradition returning more than 50 years. 2 completing outlet store in downtown, Ivey’s and Dickson & & Ives, joined together in 1955 to hang the Christmas star between the two buildings.
In 1984, after the outlet store closes, Kazanzas, who was a long-lasting resident of Orlando, raised funds to replace the initial Christmas star, which had actually fallen into disrepair.
The new start was recently rewired with more than 4,000 LED lights.
It’s a sign that represents the start of the holiday season. But Chatham said it implies a lot more this year.
”You do not wish to let the pandemic thing get you down. You still have to enjoy life and do things that are necessary to you,” Chatham said. “Keep the spirit alive.”