Bangor Residents Upset with “Holiday Tree” 

The tree standing in Bangor’s West Market Square has been spreading more controversy than cheer since its arrival Tuesday. Officials with the city of Bangor have dubbed the 30 ft. balsam a “holiday tree,” rather than a “Christmas tree,” which sparked quite a debate on our Facebook page.Wednesday, the name continued to prompt a spirited response from those passing through the city’s downtown.”I think it’s stupid,” said Edward and Anne Baker.The couple wasn’t alone with the sentiment.Resident Miranda McLellan said, “If we were going to put a giant Menorah out there, we wouldn’t call it a holiday Menorah, you know what I mean?”But the response comes as a surprise to city officials, who said the change actually came some time ago.”We’ve asked employees that have been with the city for 20 plus years, and no one really is certain when the change happened. So, it could be within the last five years, maybe ten or more,” said Jason Bird, the city’s Business Development Officer and Downtown Coordinator.In fact, no one even seemed to know why it was done, other than to make downtown Bangor festive for everyone.Bird said, “We’ve asked around and we think that it’s because the city wants everyone to be able to to participate in the holidays, and we don’t want to exclude other religions or those that don’t necessarily celebrate Christmas.”Regardless of how or what you celebrate, city staff just hope the tree can stand for much more than just a name.