110 W. New York Ave.
DeLand, FL 32720
DeLand Easter crosses a success, despite change
13 more crosses in Downtown DeLand
By Pat Andrews
posted Apr 13, 2012 - 8:52:17am
Sixty-nine crosses were decorated in Downtown DeLand on Easter eve this year.
Organizers called the project a success, noting there were 13 more crosses on building windows and walls in Downtown DeLand this year, after a controversy arose over the placement of the Christian symbols on the public sidewalk.
Church organizers of the project compromised with city officials, this year affixing crosses made of plastic lattice to buildings instead of using the sidewalks. A few of the wooden crosses returned this year, placed on private property adjacent to the public right of way.
Last year, 56 wooden crosses lined the sidewalks.
An ecumenical group, spearheaded by Church of the Holy Presence in DeLand, has been lining Woodland Boulevard with wooden crosses on Good Friday for four years. Late on Saturday night before Easter, volunteers put flowers on the crosses, so the decorated crosses greet people on Easter morning.
Sponsors paid $100 per cross.
Holy Presence Church member Lance Bradley, who coordinated the project, said 12 additional new sponsors have already signed up for next year.
Bradley said some 200 people came Downtown April 7 to dress the crosses. A pub crawl sponsored by DeLand firefighters was also under way.
The firefighters and other people Downtown were very courteous, Bradley said, adding that the firefighters were “incredibly helpful.”
There was no vandalism or theft of flowers.
With the additional expense incurred this year to build the new crosses as well as buy flowers, there was little money left to donate to children’s, family and veterans’ ministries, Bradley said. He hopes there will be more next year.
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