If you live in, or have driven through Draper or Sandy any time during the Christmas season, you might have seen a single bright star up on the mountain. You might have even wondered why or how it got there. For the last 10 years, Harold Haugen, aka Star Man, has made this tradition happen. He doesn’t do it for money, or fame, or for any reason other than it’s his gift to his family, friends and the entire community.
With the help of his family and friends, he loads his backpack with tools, lights, a generator and gasoline, then he hikes about 20 minutes up the steep mountain above his house. This was my first time joining the crew. It was impressive to see how quickly everyone went right to work doing their part. Before I knew it, the star was assembled and Harold had the generator secured and ready to go. While mounting the star to the rock, I witnessed another honorable quality of Harold. Despite having someone below, spotting the star to make sure it looked straight, he asked his son-in-law to get out his leveling app on his phone and make sure it was perfect. The spotter got it within one degree of perfection, but with the help of the iPhone, he was able to get it perfect. With the star up, and the generator ready to go, we just needed to wait for the sun to set and turn it on. At precisely 5:30 on Dec 10th, the Christmas season officially began for the Haugen Family and probably many others. The star runs all night, or at least until the gas runs out. Then, the next day, and every day until the first of January, Harold will fill his pack with gasoline and make that same 20 minute hike to his star.
It was so much fun joining in on this tradition. I now appreciate how much time and care goes into this every year. I hope those of you from this area will get a chance to check out Harold’s star this year. Thank you Harold Haugen, Brad Devine, Trevor Haugen and JJ Peterson for including me in this. I hope to do it again next year. I promise to actually carry something next time.