ELKHORN, WIS. – A Nativity scene has been moved from county-owned property at the corner of Walworth and Wisconsin streets in Elkhorn to the lawn of St. Patrick’s Church, about a block away.
The move comes after three years of back-and-forth between the city of Elkhorn and the Madison-based Freedom from Religion Foundation.
The county owns the land, but the city has always been in charge of the decorations that are put up in the park.
In December 2012, the Freedom from Religion Foundation, responding to a complaint, asked the city and the county to move the Nativity scene from its “prominent” place in the park separate from secular holiday displays in front of the Walworth County Government Center. The letter was received after Christmas, and the display was removed after the holidays.
In 2013, the Nativity scene was put up next to the secular decorations in the park. City Council members received complaints from residents that the Nativity scene had been moved from its prominent spot at the corner of the park.
City and county officials decided this year to move the Nativity scene to St. Patrick’s Church. The new placement at the church keeps the display close to its original location, City Administrator Sam Tapson said.
“It keeps it on the main drag,” Tapson said. “It’s still highly visible.”