Illuminated stars on a winter night. Photo: Jeff Knight

Over the past 15 years or so lit stars have become a ubiquitous feature around the Mad River Valley. It all started when some local businesses owners in Waitsfield Village had an idea. They assembled simple stars made of tree saplings creating a whimsical tableau. Over the years, momentum for the stars grew organically and the numbers increased. After a car crash took the lives of five local kids in 2016, the stars took on a more special meaning as they began appearing in groups of five.  




“Two years ago, we began an initiative to sell Star Kits to benefit the foundations created for the kids we lost and it was a huge success. This year we are at it again with a few new options. This is a collaborative of local students, businesses, citizens, and the chamber coming together to create and sell “Star Kits” with all proceeds going to a great cause,” said chamber executive director Eric Friedman.

Each kit has everything necessary to create either a 3-foot or 6-foot-tall star. The kits include five sturdy, pre-drilled cross sticks, all necessary hardware, a set of lights and a MRV sticker. Star kits must be purchased online ( and picked up at the chamber office adjacent to Localfolk Smokehouse starting December 6.

All proceeds going to nonprofits involved in honoring and remembering the five lives lost. The star kits are a result of a collaboration between the chamber, Harwood Union Middle and High School, The Ward Clapboard Mill, Pomerantz Woodworking, 1824 House Inn and Barn, Bisbee Hardware, and the Mad River Valley Rotary Club.