Santa Monica News
Controversial Nativity Scenes Return
By Alex Nochez
Dec 19, 2013 - 12:53:08 AM

SANTA MONICA — The controversial Nativity scenes began their display at their new home at Mount Olive Lutheran Church on Sunday, December 15.
One of many Nativity scenes.


The Santa Monica Nativity Scenes will be on display until January 2, 2014. The church is located at 1343 Ocean Park Boulevard. An opening ceremony was held on December 15 to commemorate the debut of the Nativity Scenes and its 60th anniversary. The ceremony took place at Palisades Park, the original location of the scenes for decades.


First displayed in 1953, the Nativity scenes were a consistent site at Palisades Park until 2011, when Damon Vix made a push to force the Nativity scenes out of the park. This led to a movement where several supporters applied to get several spaces for displays at the park. The surge in demand led to a lottery that doled out 18 spots to supporters of Vix. The Nativity scenes had always taken 14 spots.


The City Council banned overnight and unattended displays in June 2012. The Nativity Scenes Committee then filed a federal lawsuit to overturn the ban. The U.S. District Court dismissed the lawsuit in November 2012.


The displays will begin along Maple Street about one block north of Ocean Park Boulevard. For visitors who prefer to walk past the displays, free parking is available at the church's parking lot.


In a statement from The Nativity Scenes Committee, “The Nativity Scenes Committee is deeply grateful to the people of the Mount Olive Lutheran Church and Interim Pastor Stephen Fiechter for providing a home for the Nativity Scenes for this milestone display.”

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