LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Is a Christmas tree by any other name, still a Christmas tree? It's an issue the city of Louisville is having to address.

There's an apparent controversy over what to call a certain 50-foot blue spruce in downtown Louisville. The city insists when it comes to what to call this tree, it is not trying to be politically correct.

It's the centerpiece of Light Up Louisville. This year it's, a 50-foot blue spruce, and there's little doubt on the street about what to call it.  "This tree behind us. What do you call it?" several people were asked. Some responses:

"It's huge. Christmas tree? Christmas Tree!"
"I call it a Christmas tree as well."
"A Christmas tree."
"What do you call it? Uh, the Big Christmas Tree? That's all I've got!"

But the controversy began when word spread that the city of Louisville was calling this a Community Tree, not a Christmas Tree.

"I would rather it be called a Christmas tree. I think that's what it's intended to be," was a typical response.  So was, "It wouldn't bother me. Include as many people in the festivities as possible."
"It should still be called a Christmas Tree. Christmas Tree is Christmas, meaning Christ. So, Christmas tree!"

But city spokesman Chris Poynter says he's puzzled by the confusion

"It's the Community's Christmas Tree," said Poynter. "You know, we've always called it the Community's Christmas Tree because a citizen from the community has always donated it. So, of course it's a Christmas Tree. What else would it be?"

The problem is that in two separate press releases, the city does refer to the tree as a Community Tree. The word "Christmas" is left out. That phrasing was picked up in TV and radio reports and spread through social media.

Poynter says the Community Tree reference was, apparently, a mistake:  "It could have been an oversight, but, again, it's always been the Community's Christmas Tree."

So when Louisville gathers next week to light this tree, the city insists it will not be the Grinch that tried to steal Christmas.  "So, it's a great time for all families to come out. People of all faiths. However, that's a Christmas Tree," said Poynter.

So when the Light Up Louisville ceremony launches next Friday at 8:30 p.m., it appears political correctness will take a holiday.

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