The Washington Post

Loudoun’s ‘Skeleton Santa’ renews annual drama (UPDATE: Video of Santa’s dismantling)

Loudoun County’s decision to allow “seasonal displays” on the grounds of its county courthouse in Leesburg is guaranteed fun, and this year is no different. Here’s a full color look at the “Skeleton Santa” which popped up Monday morning, was knocked down Monday afternoon, and gone on Tuesday.

(Courtesy Ken Reid)

The Post’s Caitlin Gibson reports that its creator, Jeff Heflin Jr. of Middleburg, intended “to depict society’s materialistic obsessions and addictions and how it is killing the peace, love, joy and kindness that is supposed to be prevalent during the holiday season.” Or he was out for some laughs. One of those.

Leesburg Town Council member Ken Reid, soon to be a county supervisor, e-mailed out the photo above and wrote: “I was so utterly outraged when I saw this. How offensive to children, especially, to see a beloved symbol of the holidays crucified!” He said when he gets on the county board, he will “help lead the fight to stop this mockery of Christmas and Christian beliefs,” even though he’s Jewish.

The town of Leesburg released a statement Tuesday saying it had no say over the grounds of the county courthouse. The county board of supervisors hashed it out Monday and Tuesday without making a change in the rules. Read the full details of the crucified Kringle in Gibson’s story here.

UPDATE: WUSA-9’s Peggy Fox was there and filmed the Skeleton Santa being dismantled by a very calm yet displeased woman. Here’s the video. Warning: WUSA has apparently eliminated chairs and camera tripods from its budget, so Peggy and Anita Brikman are filmed standing in their office by someone who simply can’t stand still and just shoot.

Tom Jackman is a native of Northern Virginia and has been covering the region for The Post since 1998.


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