The holiday display on the steps of Orange city hall is a tradition.

This year it's bigger and better than ever after the city spent some money to add more decorations.

A local group hoping to add their own holiday greeting to the lawn, says the city won't allow it.

Amber Barnhill is a member of the Orange County Atheists group.

Passing by Orange City Hall and seeing the traditional Nativity scene on the lawn signals to her that the holiday season has arrived.

With the addition of secular holiday decorations this year, Barnhill said the new items send a reminder that city leadership seems determined to keep her group from wishing neighbors good will this season.

The Orange County Atheists presented a banner to city leaders last year.

The sign read: "Whether you are celebrating Saturnalia, Hannukah, Kwanzaa, Christmas, the Winter Solstice, or any other holiday this time of year, the Orange County Atheists would like to wish you... Happy Holidays!"

The banner was rejected last year and city officials even temporarily removed the traditional Nativity scene.

This year, $20,000 was budgeted to cover the cost of a new Nativity scene, stable, Santa and sleigh, a caroler set, a toy soldier, a snowman and a menorah.

The Orange County Atheists again requested to donate their holiday banner.

Barnhill said the group received notification that the city wouldn't allow it in November, citing they didn't want signage on the lawn.

"They're prioritizing using the city to push their religious views over actually doing their job," said Barnhill.

Orange Mayor Jimmy Sims offered some insight in an interview with our news partner the Beaumont Enterprise.

"We spent a lot of money to put our stuff up, and we don't want any banners up," said Sims.

Barnhill said the response seems to target the group based on their beliefs instead of a legitimate reason to reject the banner.

"When the mayor, the person who is representing the entire town gets up and says he doesn't agree with us, so what? That doesn't mean we can't live in the same town," said Barnhill.

City leaders could not be reached for a response so close to the holidays.

Barnhill said the sign is not meant to preach the atheist point of view but to wish well to neighbors over the holidays.

"We want to use our platform to bring attention to a lot of beliefs, not just us," said Barnhill.

The Orange County Atheists say while there's nothing to be done this year, they plan to come up with a figurine or display to submit next year in place of the banner.