PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — After much debate and controversy, Mayor Michael Nutter says two signs that hang above the wooden booths that make up the traditional European Christmas Village on the west side of City Hall will once again feature the word “Christmas.”
“I’m pleased to let you know that Christmas Village is back, the sign will be back,” Nutter said to reporters Wednesday evening.
Nutter said he spoke with the organizer of the German Christmas Village and made the decision to put the word Christmas back on the signs that welcomes visitors to the village.
The signs, strung up in lights, used to read “Christmas Village,” but only said just “Village” Tuesday after workers removed the word.
City Managing Director Richard Negrin says workers took the word Christmas down because of complaints.
Mayor Nutter says it was the Christmas Village organizer Tom Bauer who decided to take the signs down after hearing about the complaints and the city did not pressure him.
“We had no hand. We did not physically or in any other way, shape or form take the signs down. That was his choice,” Nutter said.
However, on Tuesday Negrin seemed to strike a different note.
“I met with the President of German American Marketing and we decided that it made sense for us to be more inclusive,” he said. “It’s more accurate, makes more sense more in keeping with the spirit of the holiday to call it the Holiday Village from now on,” Negrin said.
Mayor Nutter says Bauer decided to put the Christmas sign back up after Nutter asked him to reconsider. When reached by phone by Eyewitness News, Bauer had not comment.
The signs were going to read “Holiday Village,” but Nutter said the word Christmas is expected to be back up Thursday.
Reported By: Todd Quinones and Steve Beck, CBS 3; Kim Glovas, KYW Newsradio