Special thanks to Alan Hoyle, who has been responsible for the Nativity Scene being placed on the Courtsquare for many years. Thanks also to Ted Huss and all the other volunteers who helped get it in place this year. The photo shows most of those who came to help. Michelle Beam had to leave, but dressed in her Christmas sweater (it was sweater day at Ross where she works), she brought candy canes for all the volunteers.
Wayne Howard Staff Writer
If you see Alan Hoyle, you might want to say "thank you," unless, of course, you are one of those in the small minority that objects to having a Nativity Scene on the Lincoln County Courthouse lawn.
Laura Morris, Director of Community Relations & Events for the city of Lincolnton, told us last week after the Sunday evening tree lighting that some had raised concerns that the City had replaced the manger scene with the big red apple that will be a part of this year's New Year's Eve celebration.
The apple was placed where the manger scene had set before--and now sits again--because the space was empty and it was close to the tree and the stage. Morris noted that some of those who had complained thought the City was responsible for the manger scene. It was not. Alan Hoyle, the oft-criticized street preacher who ran for Sheriff, has put the Nativity Scene on the Courtsquare for many years--usually before Thanksgiving.
Hoyle told us early last week that he hadn't done it this year because of a lack of help and because he thought many really didn't care. We asked him if he wasn't going to place it if he would sell the figures in the scene to us so the Lincoln Herald could put it there. He told us he didn't want to sell them. We looked at multiple places online but couldn't find a suitable set of figures available.
After we published an editorial Monday evening that was shared multiple times on Facebook along with comments from many saying they would help to get the Nativity Scene back on the square, Hoyle agreed Wednesday to having a work party Sunday afternoon. First, he had to get a permit--which he did on Thursday.
We ran another article telling about the work party and asking for volunteers to help with the project. Sunday afternoon, about a dozen people showed up to help.
The floor of the stable fell apart and had to be put back together. Other minor problems (like one of the lights not working at first) were also solved. After some two and a half hours of work, the Nativity Scene was back on the Courtsquare.
For anyone who might object, especially those who would claim it's mixing politics and religion and that religious figures have no place on public property, County Manager Kelly Atkins says that any group that wants to have a display for a seasonal event is welcome to make an application. If Muslims want a display for Ramadan (May-June 2019), they're welcome to apply. If some other group wants to have a display, so long as it is in good taste, they're also welcome to apply.
For now, the Nativity Scene is back on the Courtsquare. We're pleased that it is, and thankful to Alan and to all those who showed up to help put it there. A reminder: help will also be needed to disassemble the display after Christmas so it can be stored until next year.
During the holidays as always, the Lincoln Herald is here for you with the latest news every day. Unlike newspapers, you don't have to wait for us to print the next edition. Unlike television, you don't have to wait for a newscast. We're here whenever you want to read our articles--always for FREE! We'll be here on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, New Year's, and every other day of the year, keeping readers informed. We also post links to all our articles on Facebook and Twitter; and when you sign up for our FREE email service, we'll send you an email every day with links to our articles posted since the previous day's email. That way, you won't miss the latest news, obituaries, sports and other items of interest for Lincoln, Gaston, Catawba and Cleveland counties.