Christmas tree not the only display in Capitol

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MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- The towering Christmas tree may be the main tourist attraction at the Wisconsin state Capitol this time of year, but there's far more to the holiday season than the 30-foot balsam fir.

One floor up visitors encounter two traditional nativity scenes, a third one mocking religion and a "Seinfeld"-inspired Festivus pole with a note that says an airing of grievances will take place Dec. 23.

Annie Laurie Gaylor is co-president of the Freedom from Religion Foundation. She says the rotunda may be getting crowded with displays, but she has no problem with the different expressions of belief.

Gov. Scott Walker agrees, saying he believes the displays show the diversity of thought in Wisconsin.

AP-WF-12-08-13 2149GMT


The towering balsam fir Christmas tree that occupies the center of the Wisconsin state Capitol for the holiday season is now in place and being decorated.

But it's not the only sign of the holidays in the Capitol.

There's also a menorah and a traditional nativity scene.

In contrast, the Madison-based Freedom from Religion Foundation has its own "natural nativity" scene celebrating the winter solstice. Its sign proclaims that "Religion is but myth and superstition."

And then there's the Festivus pole. The pole is a central part of the fake holiday made famous in a 1997 "Seinfeld" episode and it's sharing space alongside the nativity scene and other displays.

A sign next to the pole says there will be an "airing of the grievances" next to it on Dec. 23.

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