The Andrew Henricks star has been part of the Festival of Lights from the very early years and honors festival volunteer Andrew Henricks, who passed away many years ago. His wife, Cecelia G. Henricks, retired from the City of East Peoria in the mid-1980s and passed away in 2017 at age 89. Her children, Alan and Guienne Henricks and Gary and Carolyn Henricks, wanted to honor their mother’s memory and decided that since both husband and wife enjoyed volunteering in the community, supporting the Festival of Lights, and supporting local businesses, they would ask for memorial contributions to fund the construction of a new star in both parents’ memory. The family raised enough to completely fund the construction of the new star in 2017.
The original star was made of wood and illuminated with fluorescent light tubes, and from the ground to the top was 30 feet high. The new star is 24 feet in diameter and is made from aluminum with welding done courtesy of Bessler Welding in East Peoria. It is illuminated with LED lights, so it is far brighter than the original star. It is higher too, measuring 50 feet high from the ground to the top.
The new star is known as the Andrew P. and Ceceila G. Henricks Star, and as Alan Henricks said, “It will be high and bright to inspire people.”