The traditional star of Kazanzas originated in downtown Orlando
Orlando, Florida. The Christmas tradition returned to the beautiful city on Sunday with the annual installation of the “Jack Casasas” star, ushering in the holiday spirit in Orlando.
City officials said a short stretch of Orange Avenue from Central Boulevard to Pine Street was closed from 7 a.m. to 12 p.m. as crews worked to suspend the 600-pound star.
The city said the age-old tradition began in the 1950s when rival downtown department stores Ivy and Dixon & Ives teamed up to hang the star between their businesses atop Central Boulevard.
Betty Reed Kendall, one of Wilson Reed’s daughters who owned Dixon and Ives, came to watch the crews install the star.
“[He] “He had the idea of having the star connect two competing stores for unity and that’s a big tradition,” said Reed Kendall.
Red Kendall said she remembered when the star was stockpiled after stores closed.
In 1984, lifelong Orlando resident Jack Casasas raised money to replace the original star, as the city said it had fallen into disrepair.
The star was finally reconnected in 2010 with more than 4,000 LED lights and has come to symbolize the start of the holiday season in Orlando, officials said.
“I hope they feel important and celebrate the holidays and for something beautiful for the city and downtown Orlando,” said Reed Kendall.
even through The rise of the COVID-19 pandemic, the star still shines brightly for Orlando residents to enjoy and enjoy.
Cecily Carcamo said her fiancé and future sister-in-law were among the crew members who rode the light. She came to watch as they raised the star over downtown. She said this tradition is especially needed after more than 18 months of the pandemic.
“I feel it’s positive to see, at least although there have been some setbacks, at least you can see that the tradition is still going on,” Carcamo said.
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