Friday, February 12, 2016

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"

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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
Byko: The (Nothing) Village catered to haters
Rubin: Philly puts 'Christmas' back in the village
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
William Bender, a Drexel graduate who landed at the Daily News in 2007, has covered everything from South Philly mobsters to doomsday hucksters. He occasionally writes about local food trucks and always eats everything on his plate, whether it be a bloody rib eye or a corrupt politician. E-mail tips to benderw@phillynews.com
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David Gambacorta, has been a reporter with the Daily News since 2005, covering crime, police corruption and all of the other bizarre things that happen in Philadelphia. Now he’s covering the 2015 mayor’s race, because he enjoys a good circus just as much as the next guy. He’s always looking to get a cup of coffee. Send news tips and other musings on life to gambacd@phillynews.com
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