The Christmas Star and Easter Cross on Irving Cliff in Honesdale have been a tradition for over 60 years. Originally a project of the Honesdale Chamber of Commerce, the Star was first lit in 1955 followed by the Cross in 1956.

The Christmas Star and Easter Cross on Irving Cliff in Honesdale have been a tradition for over 60 years. Originally a project of the Honesdale Chamber of Commerce, the Star was first lit in 1955 followed by the Cross in 1956.

After all these years, a group has risen up to fight it, to say it must come down because the framework is on borough land (the top of Irving Cliff is Gibbons Park. The parcel was given to the borough by the Gibbons family in 1955).

Why should we be surprised? We see it happening in many places in the nation. The same organization, Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF), challenged the Wallenpaupack Area School District a few years ago over the more than 100-year tradition of the local school to schedule a local minister to have an invocation or benediction at graduation. Despite local outrage, the FFRF prevailed when the District backed down over concern that they could not win a potentially costly legal battle over constitutional grounds.

Borough taxes do not go into maintaining the 50-foot framework or its lightbulbs. Business and private donations pay for the upkeep.

Honesdale Fire Department, for many years, went up to the cliff before Christmas to change lightbulbs that had blown out. The Star has shown every Christmas since 1955. It survived the 1973 national Energy Crisis when there was a proposal to not light it at all. After a hue and cry, the Star shone for a limited time that season.

The framework has been used to light a stylized menorah at Hanukkah, and even as a Red Cross symbol with red lightbulbs one March for Red Cross Month.

Along with the holiday song Winter Wonderland - written by a local son, the electric Star has become ingrained in our local traditions at the end of the year. There’s nothing like the sight of the Star lit up during an evening snowfall, as Central Park and the rest of town is decorated in white.

Here’s an idea, if it comes down to the Honesdale borough council sensing they can’t win a legal challenge.

The framework’s footers take up a very small portion of the park land.

The borough of Honesdale could SUBDIVIDE a narrow rectangle of the parcel UNDER THE FRAMEWORK to the Greater Honesdale Partnership or another nonprofit organization.

Then what would be the legal argument against it? That the light of the Star dare shine on the park grounds in front?

LET IT SHINE.