A New York City man angry that the Staten Island Ferry banned holiday decorations, dressed up as a Christmas tree to protest it. Ferry passengers were delighted, and posed for pictures with the man in his Christmas tree costume.
Scott LoBaido walked through St. George's Ferry Terminal decked out in a 7-foot outfit made of chicken wire and lights which actually resembled a Christmas tree. He made such a sensation that he attracted not only passengers, but reporters.
LoBaido unabashedly calls himself a Christmas enthusiast and says he was bummed out by the holiday decorations ban at all city terminals and decided on Friday to spruce up his local one, The Staten Island Ferry terminal. LoBaido, an artist/activist says,
“I couldn’t just place a Christmas Tree at the terminal. So it became my costume. Everybody was just smiling and laughing and that's what the whole spirit of Christmas is."
The New York Daily News reports that the city Department of Transportation announced last week that it was advising this year against putting up Christmas trees, Menorahs and other holiday decorations at all of the city's terminals, even though it had been allowed in the past. Mayor Bloomberg defended the decision, saying the
“Department of Transportation got sued one too many” times.
But LoBaido says the ban caves in to a
“politically correct agenda that is sweeping the nation.”
And he points out that his protest drew little attention from police or city officials.
“It was totally, totally positive. People were thanking me, hugging the tree.”
It cost LoBaido, who lives on Staten Island, nearly $400 for the costume, using mostly chicken wire, duct tape and
“a lot of battery-operated lights.”
The costume was a hit, but it had its drawbacks. LoBaido jokes,
“I was eventually going to take a ride on the ferry boat, but I made the tree too high and could not get through the door."