A festive blip on a nighttime drive through Cleveland: each holiday season, the humdrum Interstate-77 ride showcases a beloved star, strung between the Cleveland-Cliffs steel mills’ smokestacks, and perfectly visible in front of the glowing city skyline.
The star’s bright bulbs signify a start to year-end festivities — a glimpse through steam to celebrate one of Cleveland’s longtime industries. Hanging here, it’s shone for multiple generations of steel mill workers since the tradition started in the 1980s, according to a United Steelworkers social media post. In 2020, it became a new symbol of hope, when the local star’s color changed to blue, and remained up for extra months during the pandemic.
When the star goes up this year, we’ll know it’s Christmastime in Cleveland once again.