CAMDEN — For the first time in its 54-year history, the star atop Mt. Battie will be shining down on Camden during Daylight Savings Time. Members of the assembly crew erected the star on the World War I Memorial Tower on Monday morning, April 6, 2020, after receiving permission from the State of Maine to do so.
Historically, the Mt. Battie Star shines over Camden from Thanksgiving Day through New Year’s Eve. As far as the Friends of Mt. Battie can recall, there has never been a time when the star has been erected outside of the holiday season, until now. The plan is for the star to be lit each evening at sunset, shortly after 7:00 pm, until the COVID-19 pandemic is over.
Peter Rollins recounted the spark that got the conversation started back in mid-March: “Someone suggested on the Five Town Samaritans (Covid-19) Facebook page that it would be so inspiring to see the star shining down on the town during the COVID-19 pandemic. I read that post and thought, ‘Why not?’ It took several weeks to get everything lined up, but it is incredibly satisfying to see it come to fruition today.”
Once the green-light came from the State of Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands over the past weekend, an all-volunteer crew met on Sunday morning to unpack the star and make sure all parts were in working order. The team delivered the steel frame, outfitted with 100+ LED bulbs, to the tower on Monday morning and began the assembly process.
Normally, the star assembly takes about two hours, but team members reported that the process took nearly twice as long on Monday, as volunteers complied with physical distancing, and the wearing of masks and gloves.
Camden resident Tom Jackson, who has been involved with the star project for close to 30 years, said on Monday, “I have always felt the Mt. Battie Star to be a symbol of hope and community spirit. We could all get a boost from that symbolism right now.”
Joining Jackson in the assembly today were Randy Stearns, Peter Rollins, Casey Leonard, and Mark Kelley. The team also thanks Timbercliff Tree Service and members of the Camden Fire Department for their assistance.
The Friends of Mt. Battie Tower group is also grateful to the businesses and organizations that help make the Mt. Battie Star a true community effort year after year, including the Camden Lions Club, Rankin’s Hardware, Village Variety, and 17-90 Lighting.