Festivus Pole to Be Erected Next to Manger in Delray Beach
Courtesy of Chaz Stevens
Last year, Deerfield Beach activist, blogger, and self-proclaimed "militant atheist" Chaz Stevens made headlines when he put up a Festivus Pole in the Florida Capitol rotunda.
Last year's pole -- which was an eight-foot-tall pole made of Pabst Plue Ribbon beer cans -- was inspired by Tallahassee officials allowing Christian groups to put up Nativity scenes and other holiday displays.
Now Stevens says Delray Beach city officials have approved him to put up the pole in the city this year.
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Stevens, who calls the placing of the pole "the erection," tells New Times that the pole will be put up around Thanksgiving week.
"The erection should begin in November," he says. "I got them between a rock and a really pointy rock."
In an email to Delray Beach Interim City Manager Terry Stewart, Stevens references "the erection" and says this pole will run around six feet high.
"We'd like the erection to occur around Thanksgiving -- or whenever the other displays go up," Stevens wrote Stewart.
"The city will accommodate your request for placement of the Festivus Pole as required by law and in the same manner as other requests for holiday displays," Stewart responded. "The city will provide you with a set of administrative guidelines which are applicable to all holiday displays detailing the conditions of placement so that everyone will know what to expect all along the way."
Stevens tells New Times that he doesn't simply want to put a up a pole this year but also hopes to do some good with the media attention the pole usually brings.
Basically, Stevens is looking for a beer company to sponsor this year's endeavor.
"Between now and Thanksgiving, we're in the process of crafting letters to beer makers -- Pabst, Budweiser -- to see if this thing can be sponsored," Stevens says.
"One hundred percent of the proceeds will go to my favorite charity, Women in Distress."
Stevens used last year's pole for Women in Distress as well, donating the proceeds he made after selling the pole to an anonymous buyer on eBay to the charity.
Stevens sold the pole for $455.
"This year we're asking for anybody that wants to sponsor us, that wants to cut a check to Women in Distress, that we'll gladly take it," Stevens says.
Stevens has also sent a request to the state to put up the Festivus Pole in the state Capitol rotunda again.
Stevens says the state sent him an email last week saying it's still reviewing his request.
Meanwhile, the Satanic Temple, which was rejected last year for a display state officials deemed "grossly offensive," is still waiting to hear from the state on this year's request to put up a display next to the Festivus Pole and Nativity scene.
"We haven't heard anything so far," a Satanic Temple spokesperson told New Times on Thursday when asked for a response to Stevens hearing from state officials about his display request. "We're very curious to see how this goes."
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