An iconic part of Williams history recently got a makeover thanks to the local high school and many volunteers.

The large star and Christmas lights that have decorated the hill behind the town for over 70 years got a long-overdue makeover after weather caused it to deteriorate.

“Over the years the weather has deteriorated the star,” said George Watt, President of the Williams Lions Club. “It’s been worked on over the years but it just got to the point where it needed replaced.”

The tradition surrounding the tree on the hill began with a living tree in the 1940s. Rumor has it that an APS employee by the name of Mike was the first one to light the tree and star.

Some years later the tree was moved to its present location and the tradition was kept on by Raymond Cox and later Harry Cole, another APS employee, before responsibility for the star and tree was taken by the Williams Lions Club.

“In our town we have new things, but mostly we try to respect the old things and keep things small town with a big heart,” said Kerry-Lynn Moede, a Williams resident.

The Williams High School welding class created the star out of aluminum and all of the lights are LED. Boy Scout Troop 140 helped string the lights and APS employees helped to hang the star.

“It’s like a hallmark town and the star just does that,” said Williams resident Linda Lopez.