Orlando's Jack Kazanzas Christmas star comes to downtown this weekend


Orlando's decades-old tradition of decorating downtown with a giant golden star to start the holiday season is back this weekend.

City workers plan to raise the Jack Kazanzas Star this Sunday, Nov. 19, near the corner of Orange Avenue and Central Boulevard. The 600-pound star is elevated 50 feet over the street.

The tradition dates back more than half a century to 1955, when two competing Orlando department stores, Ivey’s and Dickson & Ives, came together to hang the star between their two buildings on Orange Avenue, according to the city. Almost 30 years later, after both stores had closed and the star was in poor condition, local resident Jack Kazanzas campaigned in 1984 to raise funds and buy a new star. The City of Orlando later added some bling to it in 2010 by installing 4,000 LED lights.

Workers will start working on the star at 7:45 a.m. this Sunday and start raising it at 8 a.m. You might want to come back at night, though, to view the star properly in all its shiny glory.