Santa Monica's ban on all holiday displays at Palisades Park won't keep Christmas celebrations off the public land.
Plans are in the works to host carolers and Christmas celebrations at the southern end of the park near the Pier, according to Hunter Jameson, chairman of the Santa Monica Nativity Committee, a group of Christian churches that has sued the city over its ban.
And though Nativity scenes are no longer permitted at the park—for the first time in nearly 60 years—Jameson said they are likely to be placed on private property, as city officials and a federal judge have suggested.
When in June the City Council outlawed the traditional displays after disputes arose with local atheist groups, the Nativity Committee filed a lawsuit claiming its members' First Amendment rights were being violated.
On Monday, a federal judge denied the group's request for an injunction that would require the city to allow the dioramas to be displayed at the scenic seaside park over the holiday season while the case proceeds. She set a Dec. 3 hearing on a dismissal motion brought by the city.
"We are certainly working to carry on" the tradition, Jameson told Patch on Tuesday.
The evening celebrations at the park are being organized by a "friend" of the committee, said Jameson, but he would not say who. They are to start Dec. 3 and continue nightly until Christmas, he said.
As for the dioramas, the committee needs plots, about 300 feet wide by 8 feet tall, on private land to erect the displays.
"If any one has a suitable space in Santa Monica, we’d be very interested," Jameson said. "Preferably in an area that has good visibility for motorists and pedestrians."