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'Gay' Festivus Pole In, Nativity Out At Florida Capitol Rotunda

Chaz Stevens

Visitors to the Florida Capitol this month will not see a Nativity scene that had stood in its rotunda for the past two holiday seasons. Its sponsor says she’s tired of the debate and counter-displays it attracted.

Meanwhile one of those counter-displays is returning to the rotunda—and it’s more brightly-colored than ever.

The Festivus pole is making a comeback. The pole, originally made of beer cans, is a nod to the fake holiday Festivus celebrated by characters on the TV show “Seinfeld.” Deerfield Beach activist Chaz Stevens first put it up in protest of the Christmas Nativity installed by the Florida Prayer Network in 2013.

And though Christ is taking a hiatus this year, the pole is returning, in what Stevens calls a “rainbow gay edition.” It’s a multi-colored pole topped with a disco ball.

Also approved for the rotunda is a Hanukkah menorah, which is already on display. The Florida News Service reports the Festivus pole will be up Dec. 21 through Dec. 28.

Jessica Palombo supervises local news gathering and production, podcasts and web editorial content for WJCT News, ADAPT and Jacksonville Today. She is an award-winning writer and journalist with bylines including NPR, Experience Magazine, and The Gainesville Sun. She has a master’s degree in broadcast and digital journalism from Syracuse University and is an alumna of the University of Florida. A nearly lifelong resident of Jacksonville, she considers herself lucky to be raising her own children in her hometown. Follow Jessica Palombo on Twitter: @JaxJessicaP