Protesters to erect ‘Festivus’ beer can pole near Florida capitol nativity scene

First Published      Last Updated Dec 10 2013 04:41 pm

The News Service of Florida reports that a "Festivus pole" made of Pabst Blue Ribbon cans will be placed near a Christian nativity in the rotunda of the Florida State Capitol in Tallahassee.

Political blogger Chaz Stevens, of Deerfield Beach, said the Festivus pole is intended to demonstrate a need for separation between church and state. Beach described himself as an atheist.

"I still chuckle, I literally can't believe there will be a pile of Pabst Blue Ribbon cans in the state rotunda," said Stevens, who requested approval for the pole.

The state formally approved the display on Monday.

Festivus was a holiday in the TV sitcom "Seinfeld," created to replace other year-end holidays. Its celebrations include an "airing of grievances" and "feats of strength," centered around an undecorated pole.

The Festivus pole is expected to go up Wednesday. The pole will stand where the Chabad Lubavitch of the Panhandle-Tallahassee had displayed a menorah, which was to be removed Monday.

The Florida Prayer Network, which put up the nativity scene last week, didn't object to the Festivus pole.

"It's their right, they have a right to exercise freedom of speech, that's what America is about," network president Pam Olsen said. "It doesn't faze me, it doesn't faze the God I serve."

— Erin Alberty