What do a dinosaur, whale, or fire truck have to do with Christmas? That's what some Howard County residents are asking after an unusual holiday display was unveiled on the county courthouse lawn.The lighted displays were donated to the county by an area resident, and are in the shapes of various animals or objects -- even the Loch Ness monster.
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"It just looks ridiculous," said Marci Davis, who visited the display with her family. "It is such a terrible representation of our city.""If it's supposed to be Christmas, I don't know why there's a dinosaur," said another woman.Howard County commissioners Dave Trine and William Thompson helped put up the display and are now fielding complaints from residents."Some of (the decorations) aren't Christmasy and some are," Thompson said. "The whole thing was for the children.""If we put the religious or Christmas decorations up, we'd be offending a whole other group of citizens and taxpayers," said Commissioner Tyler Moore."It's wrong," one woman responded. "We need Christ back in Christmas."Commissioners are mindful that religious displays can lead to legal issues."I would love to have a manger scene or nativity scene," Trine said. "Our counselor has advised against that."Residents are circulating a petition against the display. Davis said she would rather see nothing than dinosaurs and whales on the courthouse lawn."I don't understand what all these things are representing," she said. "What are they representing, Christmas?"