'Festivus' pole of beer cans next to Nativity scene on city property

Posted in the Minneapolis Forum

Bob Schmahl

Minneapolis, MN

#1 Dec 8, 2012

Mary, Joseph and Baby Jesus have graced the corner of Hillsboro Boulevard and Federal Highway every December for more than 20 years.

This year, they're joined by an 8-foot-tall aluminum Festivus Pole, symbol of a Dec. 23 atheist "holiday" that became a pop culture hit after being featured in a "Seinfeld" episode.

"It's just 23 beer cans stacked 8 feet high and conveniently located 6 feet from Baby Jesus," said activist blogger Chaz Stevens, who installed it Thursday with the city's permission.

Stevens said he has been trying unsuccessfully for five years to get the city to take down the Nativity scene. So this year he asked for space to express his own unreligious beliefs.

"Think of how many people have died over the years to give us our freedoms," Stevens said. "So I've got to push back a little."


His beef? A nativity scene and Menorah placed on the front lawn of a city firehouse at the corner of Hillsboro Boulevard and Federal Highway.

"I would like permission to place an 'anti-religious' display this coming holiday season, on the fire department's property," Stevens wrote in an email to Deerfield Mayor Peggy Noland, who didn't return numerous calls for comment, and a handful of other city officials. "I wish for my display to be located next to the (ever present) manger and menorah."

Stevens had the ACLU and the city attorney on speed dial. Much to his surprise, the city acquiesced.

Then came the hard part: figuring out what holiday icon to erect.

Waist-high block letters reading "WTF" in candy-cane stripes would be hard to sell as being in the holiday spirit and could be deemed offensive. A Flying Spaghetti Monster was too esoteric and not the easiest thing to build. Stevens found his answer in a case of Pabst Blue Ribbon.

Chicago, IL

#2 Dec 8, 2012
This is a good thing. I think more of us should celebrate Festivus.

Saint Paul, MN

#3 Dec 10, 2012
I'm a Festivus sort of guy myself.

Since: Sep 11

Rogers, MN

#4 Dec 10, 2012
Sorry, never a Seinfeld fan. Not a particularly funny stand up comic either. Having said that, the show did have a cast that worked well together.

Saint Paul, MN

#5 Dec 10, 2012
Get with it! It's "Festivus for the Rest of us"!

Since: Oct 08

Location hidden

#6 Dec 10, 2012
cantmakeitup wrote:
Sorry, never a Seinfeld fan. Not a particularly funny stand up comic either. Having said that, the show did have a cast that worked well together.
I agree, I never really like the show, some characters worked, but for the most part I was bored.
Bob Schmahl

Saint Paul, MN

#7 Dec 10, 2012
You know, I sort of look like Kramer.

Consistent looks like George, only 300 pounds heavier and a lot drunker.

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