Online Dish: Man Fights City Hall Over Halloween Display

HalloweenGeorge BrownBoca RatonMichael JacksonKIAH

We all had them, the neighbor that went overboard when it came to holiday decorations. Well, Rick Newman is "that guy" in Boca Raton, Florida, when it comes to Halloween.

Newman's spooktacular Halloween display pretty much looks like you walked on the set of Dawn of the Dead.

This year, Newman wanted to take it up a notch and have 30 kids perform Michael Jackson's "Thriller" in his driveway the week-and-a-half leading up to Halloween. Though show would be free, complete with a laser light show, and all donations would go to the Make-A-Wish-Foundation.

City Hall is less than "thrilled" with the idea. In fact, they sent Newman a letter saying the endeavor is a "commercial activity" and therefore forbidden in a residential neighborhood.

"Fundamentally, what he's doing is not customarily associated with residential use," Deputy City Manager George Brown said. "Performing live dance shows on the property and inviting people into the neighborhood via advertising qualify it as commercial activity."

Newman counters that a "yard sale would be more commercial than this." The dancers, aged 7 to 18, have been rehearsing for six months for the event. Needless to say, they'll "be devastated" if the show does not go on, according to Julie Coursey, owner of Jewel's Dance Studio!

Newman says the city did offer to help move his show to a different venue but he says it's too late.

Newman hopes the show will go on. He's asked the city to reconsider, and he hopes others will do the same.

What do you think? Should the display be taken down?

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And that's today's helping of Online Dish.

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