WADENA (AP) - A nativity scene that has long been part of the City of Wadena's Christmas decorations will no longer be displayed, despite a strong showing of support from citizens who oppose its removal.

It was the threat of a lawsuit from the Freedom From Religion Foundation, based in Madison, Wisconsin, that led the City Council Tuesday night to vote to donate the replicas of Mary, Joseph and the baby Jesus to a private group.

Wadena's mayor, George Deiss, says the nativity scene in a city park has been around so long that it's more of a tradition than religious display.

Foundation attorney Patrick Elliot says even though it may be a tradition, it shouldn't violate the constitutional provision of separation of church and state.