Beverly Hills City Council Says No to Festivus

The City Council majority was swift to nix Mayor John Mirisch’s proposal that a Menorah Lighting Event at City Hall include a festivus pole. For those unfamiliar with festivus, which until Mirisch’s proposal included two Council members, it’s a fictional holiday created 22 years ago on a “Seinfeld” episode. One of the central elements of a festivus celebration is an unadorned aluminum pole, which serves as a contrast to the traditional Christmas Tree. 

A key tenet of festivus, which falls on Dec. 23, is eschewing consumerism during the holiday season – inherently ironic given the $3.1 million the City of Beverly Hills is now spending for the 2019 BOLD Holiday programming to support retail businesses. 

In addition to criticizing the flippant nature of festivus, Mirisch’s fellow Council members told the mayor that the inclusion of the festivus pole in the lighting celebration could be deemed “sacrilegious.” 

Mayor Mirisch had brought forth a proposal for the City to host a Menorah Lighting Event on the Crescent steps of City Hall. 

During the event – the date for which has yettobeset–amenorahwouldbelitina non-religious ceremony commemorating the historic battle for religious freedom while a Christmas tree and a festivus pole were also on display. Mirisch’s proposal called for the menorah, Christmas tree and festivus pole remaining on display in the second floor foyer of City Hall for the remainder of the holiday season. 

The City of Beverly Hills has historically displayed both a menorah and Christmas tree around the Lily Pond at Beverly Gardens Park. 

All Council members were supportive of having the ceremony proposed by Mirisch sans the inclusion of festivus. 

“I think it’s important to celebrate historic events that represent religious freedom, so I think it’s very appropriate for us as a community with strong ties to Israel and a large Jewish population to do this,” Mirisch said. 


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