For the past few weeks, folks in Pineville have been making arrangements for a decades-old tradition called "Lighting of the Star" at the historic Bell Theater. The occasion, organized by the director of "Main Street Pineville," symbolizes not just the Christmas season, but a lot more.
For many of us, the Christmas season is a time for faith, family, and community. All three of those were on display in Pineville Sunday evening as folks representing eight different churches came together for a time-honored tradition.
“Here in Pineville it's a small community and we like to do everything together so denominations really don't split up the community. [And] so it's always good to have to have a service where everyone can come together, and the holiday season is a perfect time to do something like that,” said Jacob Roan, director of Main Street Pineville.
Now in its 42nd year, people celebrate the “Lighting of the Star" through song, prayer, and the illumination of a Christmas star on top of a near-by mountain.
“We celebrate every year on Advent Sunday and we do it to celebrate the true meaning of Christmas and to kick off the season, and it’s something that all the people in town look forward to, year after year,” said Sherwin Rader, Mayor of Pineville.
The event has always meant something special to the folks here, and they say that is especially true this year.
“Everyone expects the star to be lit each year and it's the sign of another year a new things to come and new hope for the city. The city is suffering right now, and we have new hope for good things to come in 2014,” Roan said.
“You know the star in the east, it's something you look forward to and went toward, and it's shining over us and to give us hope for the future,” Rader said.
Celebrating faith, family, and community; the star serves as a symbol for each of them, today and moving forward .
Organizers say the star will be lit through the month of January.