Government Law

'Festivus Pole' Featuring Beer Cans Goes Up, with City's OK, Next to Traditional Nativity Scene

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Photo courtesy of Chaz Stevens.

When his efforts over the past five years to get the city of Deerfield Beach, Fla., to eliminate a nativity scene displayed next to a busy intersection on a city firehouse lawn weren’t successful, Chaz Stevens tried another approach.

He applied for city permission to put up a “Festivus Pole” near the nativity scene—and got it, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reports.

“It’s just 23 beer cans stacked 8 feet high and conveniently located 6 feet from Baby Jesus,” Stevens told the newspaper after putting up the Festivus Pole on Thursday.

It marks a holiday (Festivus for the rest of us) made popular by television’s Seinfeld program. As a Seinfeld-fan page explains, the Dec. 23 holiday is celebrated with an airing of grievances, physical contests between family members and friends and the display of a Festivus Pole (the traditional model is simply an unadorned metal pipe).

Andrew Maroudis, who serves as city attorney for Deerfield Beach, declined the Sun-Sentinel’s request for comment.

However, an article on The Pulp page of the Broward-Palm Beach New Times provides additional details. It says Stevens, expecting opposition, had phone numbers for both Maroudis and the American Civil Liberties Union on speed dial when he made his request, only to get an immediate OK from the city.

“I think the Festivus pole is perfect,” attorney Barry Butin tells The Pulp. “It does have some religious or holiday symbolism, but it’s from a comedy.”

Butin, a Fort Lauderdale attorney who serves as co-counsel for the Broward chapter of the ACLU, helped Stevens hone his application, the article notes.

Hat tip: Tampa Bay Times.

Related coverage: “Calif. Judge OK’d Seinfeld’s ‘Festivus’ as Legitimate Religion, Ordered Special Meals for Inmate”

Union Leader: “Nashua’s Festivus draws local professionals for a fun time”

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