Bel Air Festival for the Arts revealed the reason for all the stars upon thars


I’d been wondering for some time what was inspiring all these decorative tin stars that have been showing up on the exteriors of homes around Bel Air. I’m certain they were showing up other places first, but lately we’ve been jumping on the trend. At first I thought they were a sharp look and I even spent $36 on a nicely rusted one at the Bel Air Country Store (100 N. Main Street). But it didn’t fit well on the screw that is already drilled into my home’s brick facade and I didn’t feel the trend would last long enough to make it worth drilling another hole. I hung it indoors. Now I’m kind of glad I did. Stars have been showing up on homes around here as fast as Sylvester McMonkey McBean puts stars on the bellies of Dr. Seuss’ Sneetches. I asked several folks selling stars at the recent Bel Air Festival for the Arts if they knew their origins. After several shrugs, I found a booth ( that had a little star history glued to a display. Apparently, they’re called “barn stars” and they’re history goes back to the 1700s. They were particularly popular after the Civil War, emerging from the German farming community. They have strong ties to the Pennsylvania Amish. These days we seem to think they bring good luck. Crafters were using them heavily at the festival. Tin stars appeared as holiday ornaments and decorations in wreaths. Some were fashioned into candle sconces. Others were painted with floral patterns. They came in all sizes and colors. I was tempted to collect more, but I stopped myself. I suspect the trend might be about to hit the saturation point where all the Sneetches forget about stars and whether they had one, or not, upon thars. (with apologies to Dr. Seuss)