A “Festivus” pole, measuring at about 6-feet-tall, made from emptied Pabst Blue Ribbon beer cans, will be on display in the Florida Capitol this week as a protest of a nativity scene placed by the Florida Prayer Network.
The pole will be erected by Chaz Stevens, a Deerfield Beach resident and self-proclaimed militant Atheist, who felt his Festivus pole deserved a spot in the state Capitol, too.
“I still chuckle, I literally can’t believe there will be a pile of Pabst Blue Ribbon cans in the state rotunda,” Stevens told the News Service of Florida.
Festivus, observed on Dec. 23, is a holiday “for the rest of us” created for the television sitcom “Seinfeld” as a non-commercial festival.
Traditions include the "airing of grievances," where participants share how they've been disappointed by others during the year, "Feats of Strength," where the head of a household wrestles another person, and setting up an unadorned aluminum pole, according to The Huffington Post.
Much like Florida Prayer Network’s nativity scene, the pole is just another example of “freedom of speech,” said the group’s president, Pam Olsen.
“It’s their right, they have a right to exercise freedom of speech, that’s what America is about,” Olsen said. “It doesn’t faze me, it doesn’t faze the God I serve.”
Florida’s Department of Management Services gave Stevens approval to build the Festivus pole.
“As long as it meets those guidelines and there is space available in the capitol, DMS is happy to allow all cultures, and denominations, and committees and groups to put up their holiday displays,” Ben Wolf, a spokesman for the department, told the News Service of Florida.