Beer can Festivus pole going up next to Nativity in Florida Capitol


A Festivus pole made up of empty Pabst Blue Ribbon cans is installed in the Florida Capitol rotunda Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2013. (PHOTO/Steve Thomas, Staff – Bay News 9)

It’s starting to get crowded in Florida’s Capitol rotunda as yet another “holiday” display – this one a “Festivus” pole made entirely out of beer cans – will be erected Wednesday.

“I still chuckle, I literally can’t believe there will be a pile of Pabst Blue Ribbon cans in the state rotunda,” political blogger and self-described “militant Atheist” Chaz Stevens, told the Orlando Sentinel.

Festivus was made popular by the sitcom “Seinfeld as a non-commercial festival ‘for the rest of us’ in the Christmas and year-end holiday season. Festivus, celebrated Dec. 23, comes with a ceremonial post-dinner ‘airing of the grievances’ in which participants describe how they have been disappointed by others in the past year and engage in ‘feats of strength,’” the Sentinel described.

Because state officials allowed “religious symbols” in the state Capitol building, it’s now difficult, if not impossible, to not allow every and all religious organizations to set up a display.

“I’m not sure the people who manage the State Capitol fully appreciate the door that they have opened,” Howard Simon from the Florida chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union said, according to Coral Springs Talk. “They’re not going to be able to say ‘no’ to the group that they don’t favor and ‘yes’ to today’s group that they obviously do favor.”

Stevens’ 6-foot tall beer can, Festivus pole will join a Nativity scene and another atheist display already in the rotunda.

The Nativity scene is what sparked Stevens’ to bring his beer can pole – similar to the one he displayed in Deerfield Beach last year – to Tallahassee: He countered the nativity scene with a Festivus pole as “my ridiculous statement versus what I consider, as an atheist, as their ridiculous statement,” the Sentinel reported.

According to Coral Springs Talk, who published the email correspondence between Stevens and Gov. Rick Scott’s office, Stevens will erect the festivus pole on Wednesday:

From: Routt, Sherrie <>

Date: Friday, December 6, 2013 at 4:07:20 PM
Subject: The 2013 PBR Holiday Festivus Pole

Your request to place a display in the Plaza Level Rotunda beginning December 11, 2013 through January 3, 2014 has been approved. I will email your official confirmation letter and guidelines for use of state property including instructions for access to the Capitol on Monday, December 9. You may proceed with any steps you need to ready the display for shipping, preparation to install, etc. If you will not be the onsite coordinator to setup and breakdown the display, please provide me that person’s name and contact information and I will copy them on the confirmation.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me. Thank you,

Sherrie K. Routt, Administrative Assistant II
Department of Management Services
Phone: 850.413.9586
Fax: 850.617.6476

We Serve Those Who Serve Florida

From: Chaz Stevens []
Sent: Thursday, December 05, 2013 9:09 AM
To: Routt, Sherrie
Subject: The 2013 PBR Holiday Festivus Pole

Ms. Routt;

Thank you for calling me and helping me with my application.

As requested, here is a picture of the Festivus Pole Kindly note, this version of the display in the attached pictures stands over 8” tall. However, the one that will be on display in the Capitol Building will conform to DMS guidelines — under 6 feet tall. Both occupy about a 2’x2’ area.

Kindly confirm receipt of this email.

Thank you.

Chaz Stevens

Related: Anti-God group erects bizarre display to compete with Nativity scene in Florida’s Capitol

Hobby Lobby helped sponsor Nativity scene in Fla. Capitol

The Seinfeld Festivus episode:

If you enjoyed this post, please consider leaving a comment or subscribing to the RSS feed
About Janeen Capizola

"And though she be but little, she is fierce." And fun! This conservative-minded political junkie, mom of three, dancer and one-time NFL cheerleader holds a bachelor of arts degree in political science. Twitter: @JaneenBPR

  • nan_perez

    I’ll pray for him, he needs Gods blessings.

  • Racist Black Guy

    If you approach it logically Jesus was a “real” historical figure that did actually roam the earth. You can debate his deification but you cannot sensibly debate his impact on humanity.
    I am curious about Mr Stevens’ need to interject himself into the celebration of something he says does not exist? Why is he so annoyed by Christians?

    • Doug

      They can be rather overbearing. Read some of the comments on Biz Pac Review’s various articles where Christians call non-Christians some un-Christian names.

  • Grant Ritchie

    I’m loving this. First, a Satanic monument at the Oklahoma Capitol; now a Festivus pole at the Florida Capitol. Hey, you let one bit of nonsense in, ya gotta let ‘em all in. Happy Holidays!

    • Doug

      I love Festivus but as a senior citizen I pass on the feats of strength.

  • Detfan1

    You Go Jerry Seinfeld!!

  • Terry Poupart

    Strange how atheists are so afraid of something that they don’t believe exists. It’s so illogical and unscientific.

    • Grant Ritchie

      Afraid of invisible superbeings? Nah. Saddened that so many people believe in them? Yup. Happy Holidays. :-)

  • John S

    Some people really, really need to get a life. A beer can pole?

  • Doug

    You open the door with religious displays and you’re inviting all comers.

  • EliseR

    An awesome monument to the first amendment.

  • Montesquieu

    More dangerous to liberty than the notion of merit-based rewards is the notion of “distributive justice”; a notion that requires each of us be subjected to centralized control.