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Keith McCord ReportingThere's a star shining brightly above Sandy tonight. Actually it's been there for about a month, but it's much bigger now, thanks to one man who wants to make the Christmas spirit a little brighter!
With the temperature in the teens, before the sun came up this morning, Harold Haugen and a few of his friends headed up a mountainside on Sandy's east bench.
Harold Haugen: "I was planning on building a bigger star next year, but I thought, ‘Why wait? Everyone has enjoyed it so much, let's do it now.’"
Earlier this month Harold erected a lighted star on a steep cliff, overlooking the city below. Each night he'd hike up with a can of gasoline and fill a generator that provided the power. The project delighted Harold, but he never imagined the reaction from neighbors.
Harold Haugen: "We had a tremendous response on that first one. More than I thought. I had literally dozens of phone calls, Christmas cards."
This morning, Harold and his friends dismantled the old star and re-assembled the new one that he had meticulously built in his garage.
Harold Haugen: "The last one was eight feet across, and this one is 16 feet from end to end, point to point. So it's twice as big, twice the number of lights."
After firing up the generator for a quick test and tightening up all the nuts and screws, the new star was lifted into place.
Harold Haugen: "Sometimes you do something like this and you wonder what the response will be, and it's more than I expected. It's been great."
And the accolades just keep coming. On the way back down this morning, Harold received praise yet again from hikers heading up the trail.
Janice Stapleton: "I live up on the bluff here, and everybody's talking about it. Everybody has noticed it this year. It kind of makes you feel good that someone would take that much trouble to put something like that up there."
Harold Haugen calls this his Christmas present to the people living below. Merry Christmas to you too Harold, and to all a good night. Harold Haugen says he'll keep lighting the star through the holidays.