'Christmas Village' sign to be completely removed

December 1, 2010 5:25:20 PM PST
The organizers of 'Christmas Village in Philadelphia' have announced they will completely remove the sign along its light arch.

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German American Marketing, Inc. says the word 'Christmas' was removed from the archways yesterday at the request of the city after they received numerous complaints.

Philadelphia Managing Director Richard Negrin told Action News one incident involving the story of a father and small child that was a catalyst to the original name change.

"This child happened to be Jewish, and said, 'Dad, don't we get a village? Why don't we have one?' This is an effort because there are Jewish vendors, cause there are Muslim vendors, to be more inclusive," Negrin said.

While there will now be no arch sign, the event will continue to be named "Christmas Village in Philadelphia."

Christmas Village in Philadelphia is an outdoor holiday market in downtown Philadelphia, located on public property at Dilworth Plaza on the west side of City Hall.

"People have to go to public buildings. They shouldn't feel offended," German American Marketing, Inc.'s Thomas Bauer said, "we want to stress that the name was not intended to upset anyone."

Earlier in the day, some vendors were caught off guard by the city's edict to replace the word Christmas with the word Holiday.

"And I am Jewish and I love the name Christmas Village, I tell people that's where I go, I'm going to Christmas Village," vendor Jamie Hertzog said. This is the third year for the Philadelphia village. It is fashioned off European Christmas markets like those in Nuremburg, Germany, a tradition that dates back centuries.

German American Marketing says in a press release, "We at German American Marketing, Inc. never intended to exclude anyone. The whole concept of Christmas markets in Germany is about joy, fun and entertainment and not a place for religious conflicts."

As luck would have it, today here in Philadelphia, city workers were busy placing strings of lights on a large evergreen in front of City Hall.

On Wednesday, Mayor Michael Nutter will light the city's Christmas tree in front of City Hall.


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