Rhode Island will go ahead with plans to hold a “holiday tree” lighting ceremony in the state capital despite controversy last year over Governor Lincoln Chafee’s decision to avoid using the word “Christmas” in reference the tree.
The announcement on Tuesday that the state would hold a tree-lighting ceremony in Providence came just 24 hours after the governor’s spokeswoman said the annual event had been scrubbed. Last year, protesters interrupted the ceremony with demands the conifer be officially referred to as a “Christmas tree.”Spokeswoman Christine Hunsinger blamed the confusion on a staff communication error and said there would in fact be a “holiday tree” lighting at an unspecified date.
“The governor has stated his position very clearly: He believes ‘holiday’ is more inclusive,” she said. “It’s in a building paid for by all Rhode Islanders.”