WeHo May Celebrate with Menorahs and Trees Next Holiday Season

A visitor stepping into the lobby of West Hollywood’s City Hall shouldn’t interpret the presence there of a very large statue of Bullwinkle holding Rocky as an endorsement of the politics of Frostbite Falls, Minn., their fictional home town. And come next holiday season, the presence of a Christmas tree or a lighted menorah shouldn’t be interpreted to mean that progressive West Hollywood has gotten all religious on us.

Rocky joins Bullwinkle in West Hollywood's City Hall lobby (Photo courtesy of Dan Morin)
Rocky joins Bullwinkle in West Hollywood’s City Hall lobby (Photo courtesy of Dan Morin)

The City Council will be asked at its meeting on Tuesday night to approve a proposal by Mayor Lindsey Horvath and City Councilmember John D’Amico that would authorize staffers to develop annual “end-of-year holiday celebration practices such as menorah lighting and Christmas tree lighting at City Hall, that are in keeping with constitutional protections as well as the creative celebration of our community members’ traditions and cultures.” A memo to the council says: “This item is not meant to limit the holiday celebrations to only a menorah lighting and Christmas tree lighting. Other celebrations or recognitions can be considered if proposed.”

If approved by the council, the proposal will take WeHo one more step away from the city council’s decision after incorporation in 1985 to remove Christmas from the list of official city holidays. That happened after the council was told that an earlier decision to declare Yom Kippur an official holiday wasn’t legal because the city couldn’t officially recognize a religious event. The council’s decision to strike both Jewish Yom Kippur and Christian Christmas from its list of official holidays was dubbed the “Grinch law.” Under the decision, City Hall would remain open on both days, although city employees had the right to take the day off.

But in 1986, a few weeks before Christmas, the council reversed that decision. ‘There was a growing sense that West Hollywood was out of step with the rest of the country,” then-Mayor Stephen Schulte was quoted as saying. “Now we’ve righted things. So much for the Grinch law.”

The only council member voting against recognizing Christmas was was Alan Viterbi, who introduced the original ordinance that eliminated Christmas as a city holiday. “I think this is a mistake on the council’s part,” Viterbi told the Los Angeles Times. “We’re compromising our principles.”

If the council approves Horvath and D’Amico’s proposal, the city will set aside $10,000 for use by local artists, performers and businesses to promote what it calls ” the winter holidays, the winter season and celebrations across the city.”

The council will meet at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at the City Council Chambers, 625 N. San Vicente Blvd., south of Santa Monica.

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Elaine
Elaine
4 years ago

Yes, I vividly remember the Christmas tree on Sunset. It actually was on the top of Palm Ave. where I lived for many years. I remember taking my son to see the tree ,and Wolfgang Puck, with then wife Barbara Lazarus was their with their small children. The original Spago was still open on Sunset. I loved seeing that Christmas every time I walked up Palm Ave. You could see it from the bottom of the street. Who put it their, I still don’t know. Maybe it was Puck.

Ethan Xanderphone
4 years ago

Considering the large Pagan population in WeHo, I hope they also set aside some of those funds for Yule.

LOVE NO HATE
4 years ago

TOM SMART,
I WAS AT OUR LOVE NO HATE HOME, 7990 SMB. WITH OUR WEST HOLLYWOOD HOMELESS, PAINT MKK DAY 2016, I FEED THE HOMELESS 7 DAYS A WEEK. YESTERDAY, WE ALL GOT TOGETHER AND LEARN ABOUT OUR HISTORY. GO TO MY FACEBOOK PAGE, PICS DO NOT.
LOVE NO HATE, WHERE WE RAISE LOVE NO MONEY, COME TONIGHT TO OUR CITY COUNCIL MEETING YOU WILL SEE WHAT IM DOING WITH LOTS OF SUPPORT OF MY FRIENDS. CHERRS, NIR.
I WILL LOVE FOR YOU TO COME AND SHOW LOVE TO OUR WEHO PEOPLE IN NEEDS.
https://www.facebook.com/PEACENOFIGHT

Don Norte
Don Norte
4 years ago

In 1992 Charlie Mercer of the Sunset Strip Association organized the Poinsettia Festival
of Lights and holiday tree at the triangle on Sunset near what is now the State Social House.

Tom Smart
Tom Smart
4 years ago

Nir, what did YOU do to honor MLK? You are obviously a very passionate guy. Why don’t YOU start something to honor MLK.

LOVE NO HATE
4 years ago

Is this what our city worry about? next holidays? Let’s worry about our TODAY.
Today was MLK DAY, We did NOTING to HONOR our hero. why?
please, wake up, people and stop worry about “looking good” let’s start by taking care of our today. we are all very good in meeting after meeting, talk after talk.
When are we going to start to act as ONE CITY. ONE PEOPLE. ONE PRIDE?
love.
nir zilberman
Love NO Hate HOME.
Where we raise LOVE NO MONEY.

Tom Smart
Tom Smart
4 years ago

New Holiday decorations on SMB would be nice. The current ones are pretty shabby.

Jerome Cleary
Jerome Cleary
4 years ago

But what about the giant lighted Christmas tree we had up on Sunset Blvd. on that triangular plot of land that is next to the State Social House? We had a Christmas tree lit up in December of I think it was the mid 1990’s. Does anyone else remember this and how it came about?