The Administration Network Addresses Holiday Display Policies

December 1, 2012, Department, by NRPA

What's the best policy for a parks agency wanting to decorate and celebrate the holiday season without stepping on any toes?

“What is your policy on holiday displays such as nativity scenes and menorahs?"

Our agency sponsors a 45-night Holiday Festival of Lights. It is a three-mile loop of light displays. This year marks our 23rd year of the Festival that attracts more than 200,000 visitors.

We have no written policy on purpose. The Festival of Lights is for all people in the community, regardless of their religious beliefs. Since we create and construct all of the displays, we have taken a position of being as inclusive as possible. We have manger scenes, praying hands, menorahs, dreidels, churches, etc. We also have a display sponsored by the Secular Humanists of the Lowcountry who do not believe at all.

At CCPRC we don’t judge. We serve all people in our community, but we also think it is important to honor everyone’s beliefs, no matter what they are, and not run from the issue.
Tom O’Rourke,
Executive Director, Charleston County
(South Carolina) Park & Recreation Commission

Network Buzz appears monthly in Parks & Recreation. Questions are posed to members of NRPA Connect, the interactive, social media section of the association’s website. It’s a convenient and effective way for NRPA members to connect, collaborate, and communicate. For more information and to join one of the site’s many groups, visit:­NRPA-Connect-Online-Community.

Topics are always welcome: email