Star of Beth­le­hem shines once more

The Dundalk Eagle - - FRONT PAGE - By NI­COLE RODMAN nrod­[email protected]­pub.com

The star is shin­ing once again at Spar­rows Point.

Trade­point At­lantic, owner of the former steel mill site, lit the well-loved Star of Beth­le­hem dur­ing a cer­e­mony at the site on Nov. 28.

The cer­e­mony was held from 5 to 6 p.m. at the Trade­point At­lantic Wa­ter Tower on the mill site.

“Trade­point At­lantic takes pride in the legacy and tra­di­tions that have be­come hall­marks of our com­mu­nity. The an­nual light­ing of the Star of Beth­le­hem at Spar­rows Point is part of this rich Bal­ti­more tra­di­tion,” Trade­point noted in an in­vi­ta­tion to the event.

The Star of Beth­le­hem, a one-and-a-half ton, 28 foot wide me­tal star welded by Beth­le­hem

Steel em­ploy­ees, was first mounted on top of Spar­rows Point’s L Blast Fur­nace shortly after the fur­nace was com­pleted in 1978.

There the star re­mained, cast­ing its light each hol­i­day sea­son, un­til the site was pur­chased by Spar­rows Point Ter­mi­nal (now Trade­point At­lantic) in Septem­ber 2014. Shortly after, the star was taken down, rewired and re­fur­bished and re­lit that De­cem­ber from a post out­side of the com­pany’s of­fices at 1600 Spar­rows Point Boule­vard (the former Ca­reer Devel­op­ment Cen­ter).

By De­cem­ber 2015, the star had been re­lo­cated once more, this time to the site’s wa­ter treat­ment plant off River­side Drive on the western side of the prop­erty.

This year has brought some changes for the beloved fix­ture. The star has been up­graded with new LED bulbs and has been re­lo­cated to the 110-foot wa­ter tower — a site promis­ing more vis­i­bil­ity than the pre­vi­ous lo­ca­tion.

Dozens of lo­cal lead­ers, elected of­fi­cials and res­i­dents came to­gether de­spite cold tem­per­a­tures and frigid winds last week to once again cel­e­brate the light­ing of a star that, for many, sym­bol­izes past mem­o­ries, present prom­ise and fu­ture hope for Spar­rows Point and the sur­round­ing com­mu­nity.

In ad­di­tion to the state del­e­ga­tion, state Sen. Johnny Ray Salling and Del. Ric Met­z­gar (all R-6), at­ten­dees in­cluded Bal­ti­more County Coun­cil­man Todd Cran­dell (R-7), then-Bal­ti­more County Ex­ec­u­tive-elect John Ol­szewski Jr. (D) and a va­ri­ety of rep­re­sen­ta­tives from lo­cal com­mu­nity or­ga­ni­za­tions.

In his re­marks, Aaron To­mar­chio, Trade­point vice pres­i­dent of cor­po­rate af­fairs, re­flected on the star as a sym­bol of “strength, tra­di­tion and com­mu­nity.”

Re­fer­ring to 2018 as a “busy year,” he looked ahead to 2019 as a “year of growth and op­por­tu­nity.”

Ac­cord­ing to To­mar­chio, Trade­point con­tin­ues to light the star each year “in honor of the rich legacy of the com­mu­nity.”

County Ex­ec­u­tive-elect Ol­szewski, daugh­ter Daria in his arms, led the count­down to the light­ing of the iconic star.

Also present for the fes­tiv­i­ties were mem­bers of New Light Lutheran Church, dis­tribut­ing cof­fee, co­coa and cook­ies and Bal­ti­more County Fire Sta­tion 57. Re­fresh­ments were also do­nated by Her­man’s Bak­ery. Fol­low me on Twit­ter @NRod­man_Ea­gle

PHOTO BY NI­COLE RODMAN

The Star of Beth­le­hem shines over Spar­rows Point.

PHOTO BY NI­COLE RODMAN

Bal­ti­more County Ex­ec­u­tive-elect John Ol­szewski Jr., with daugh­ter Daria, and sev­eral elected of­fi­cials and Trade­point per­son­nel, counted down to the light­ing.

PHOTO BY NI­COLE RODMAN

On­look­ers gath­ered to ad­mire — and pho­to­graph — the iconic star.

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