Man brings portable nativity scene to Ellwood City

Updated:

Loading

ELLWOOD CITY, Pa. - Mike Parisi kept a Christmas tradition in Ellwood City alive Thursday by hauling in a nativity scene with his truck.

Supporters formed a motorcade as Parisi drove the nativity scene into town Thursday afternoon.

Officials in Ellwood City did away with their display -- a 50-year tradition -- after the Wisconsin-based Freedom From Religion Foundation threatened to sue.

A local attorney paid for a new creche and set it up outside a former church he owns.

Parisi said he’s keeping his display legal by parking as close to borough property without crossing the line.

“I came into town and saw what was going on. I saw people coming into town and telling us what we can and can’t do. That’s when I got passionate,” Parisi said.

Parisi said he’ll move the display every two hours if that’s what it takes to let Ellwood City have a nativity scene.

Borough officials said they won't disrupt the display if it doesn't violate parking or other laws.