Saturday, August 2, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Mayor Nutter Lights City Hall "Christmas Tree"

Standing steps away from the rehung "Christmas Village" sign, Mayor Nutter tonight officially lit the towering evergreen tree in Dilworth Plaza outside City Hall -- and didn't shy away from the word Christmas.

Mayor Nutter Lights City Hall "Christmas Tree"

Standing steps away from the rehung "Christmas Village" sign, Mayor Nutter tonight officially lit the towering evergreen tree in Dilworth Plaza outside City Hall -- and didn't shy away from the word Christmas.

"We're here together for the annual lighting of the Philadelphia Christmas tree," Nutter said to wild applause.

The city has been the center of a national controversy since Monday when the organizer of a traditional German-style Christmas market in Dilworth Plaza took down the word "Christmas" from two light-festooned archways leading into the village. The letters were taken down after Managing Director Richard Negrin told the organizer that he had received complaints from residents and city workers.

But a Daily News story on the move went viral, prompting complaints from around the country. Nutter last night said he asked the organizer to put the letters back. And today, he even managed to joke about it.

More coverage
 
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Smerconish: 'Village' idiots in Philadelphia
 
Editorial: It's 'Christmas'
 
Editorial: Sign language
 
Heard in City Hall: Nutter aide, Christmas, gets to keep his name
 
Smerconish: 'Village' idiots

"It takes a village, a Christmas village, to bring a city together," Nutter said.

Just how Nutter would refer to the tree had been unclear. Asked about it yesterday he had called it the "City Hall tree."

If you'd like to read the mayor's remarks -- as prepared for delivery -- click here.

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About this blog
Chris Brennan, a native Philadelphian and graduate of Temple University, joined the Daily News in 1999. He has written about SEPTA, the Philadelphia School District, the legalization of casino gambling, state government, the mayor, the governor, City Council and political campaigns. E-mail tips to brennac@phillynews.com
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Jenny DeHuff is a 2005 graduate of the University of Rhode Island, where she cut her teeth in journalism. A South Philly transplant from New England, she joined the Daily News City Hall Bureau in 2013. For the past several years, she has worked as an investigative reporter exposing corruption in suburban politics, covering sometimes ghastly criminal court cases and following the people’s money and how its spent. In addition to being a dogged news hound, she enjoys reading and writing about travel, animals, Irish whiskey and aviation. E-mail tips to dehuffj@phillynews.com
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Sean Collins Walsh is from Bucks County and went to Northwestern University. He joined the Daily News copy desk in 2012 and now covers the Nutter administration. Before that, he interned at papers including The New York Times, The Dallas Morning News and The Seattle Times. E-mail tips to walshSE@phillynews.com
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