Ellwood City relocates nativity scene after controversial year

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ELLWOOD CITY, Pa. - After a controversial year, neighbors in Ellwood City will gather to celebrate the Christmas season with a new nativity display.

Earlier this year, the city’s council decided not to bring back the nativity scene in front of the municipal building.

This decision came after an out-of-state group threatened to bring a lawsuit, claiming the more than 50-year-old tradition was a government endorsement of religion.

At 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, a larger nativity display was unveiled in front of the former Saint Agatha Church, and local pastors were present to bless the nativity.

"It's important to understand that tradition is not just a ritual of tradition. It's the beliefs and the faith behind the tradition that's important," said Joe Bellissimo.

"Wherever it is, we're going to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ in our hearts," said Dawn Johnston.

Ellwood City Mayor Anthony Court said his goal is to return the nativity scene to city hall in the near future.