2018 Holland Tunnel Christmas Decorations

2018 Holland Tunnel Christmas Decorations

Updated Dec 19, 2018 at 02:15PM EST by Matt.

Added Dec 19, 2018 at 12:37PM EST by Matt.

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The 2018 Holland Tunnel Christmas Decorations received a number of complaints of the placement of the decorations, particularly setting a Christmas tree over the "N" in "Holland" as oppose to the "A." After a public backlash, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey announced they would be altering the decorations to the specifications of the public outcry.


On December 7th, 2018, Change.org [1] user Cory Windelspecht launched a petition to "Move the Christmas Tree on the Holland Tunnel from the N to cover the A." In the petition, he wrote:

"The entrance to the Holland Tunnel (One of the busiest entrance ways into America’s most populated and famous city) is a majestic site of architecture and history. A site that should be celebrated. However, every Holiday Season it is decorated with 2 wreaths and a Holiday Tree. But for some reason, the tree is over the letter N in the word Holland instead of the letter A where it would fit perfectly. This one small thing triggers anyone with the slightest hint of OCD every time they enter the city. On top of that, it’s just unsightly and ruins the holiday festivities for people to enjoy on such a great piece of architecture."


Online Reaction

Within days of the petition's launch, people began posting about the decorations online. On December 12th, 2018, the official Budweiser beer Twitter [2] account tweeted a photograph of their plant in Newark, New Jersey in which similar decorations adorned the Budweiser logo. They wrote, "We stand with @WhosCory. This is what our Newark Brewery will look like until they #MoveThatTree. #TunnelNotTonnel." The tweet received more than 290 retweets and 1,600 likes in one week (shown below, left).

Over the next week, more people shared their opinion of the decorations online, using the hashtags "#MoveThatTree" and "#TunnelNotTonnel" (examples below, center and right).

Petition Results

On December 13th, 2018, the official Port Authority Twitter[3] account tweeted, "Over 3,000 people have cast votes in the Great Holland Tunnel Decoration Debate! Have you? Poll closes this Sunday (12/16/18) at 5pm!"

On December 17th, the Change.org page announced that it received more than 3,000 votes, reaching the page's goal. That day, Port Authority Chairman Kevin O’Toole and Executive Director Rick Cotton announced that the decorations would be changed (video below, left).

That evening, Windelspecht tweeted a photograph of the change in comparison to the original decorations. The post received more than 95 retweets and 525 likes in 24 hours (shown below, right).

Media Coverage

On December 13th, 2018, the debate was featured on an episode of the The Daily Show with Trevor Noah. The following day, the official Daily Show Twitter[4] account tweeted the segment (shown below).

Several media outlets covered the controversy, including CBS,[5] The New York Post,[6] Business Insider,[7] Gothamist,[8] Slate,[9] New York magazine,[10] Fox[11] and more.

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