City Removes "Christmas" From Christmas Village

Officials come to compromise on name change

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    NEWSLETTERS

    The Christmas Village near City Hall has dropped the "Christmas" and upped the controversy by replacing it with "Holiday."

    UPDATE 10:30 p.m.: The signs where the word "Christmas" was removed would be taken down in the near future but the event will continue to be called Philadelphia's Christmas Village, according to the Mayor's office.

    Philadelphia's Christmas Village was just a village, at least temporarily.

    Officials decided a name change was in order after receiving complaints about the use of the word Christmas in the name for the temporary merchandise stalls set up on a plaza next to City Hall.

    Workers removed "Christmas" from the arching signs at two entrances on Monday. It would be replaced with the word “Holiday” instead.

    City spokesman Mark McDonald said that officials received complaints about the name of the collection of booths set up by German American Marketing Inc.

    "As a city of great diversity, one shouldn't be surprised that there's a difference of views when it comes to symbols and words," McDonald told the Daily News.

    Thomas Bauer of the German American Marketing Inc. said he was happy to make the change and no offense was intended.

    "It's been very successful the last two years. People like the name. We built it like a German Christmas market. We did not think a lot about it," Bauer told the Daily News.

    The word "Christmas" would remain on the village posters and fliers, Bauer said.

    The village has been set up the last two years on Dilworth Plaza, near the city's tree and vendors sell items such as tree ornaments, Santa decorations and nativity scenes obviously referring to the 25th of December.

    Ironically, workers were setting up the city Christmas tree Tuesday only 15 feet away from the "Christmas"-less Village sign.