Woman frustrated after Southaven officials pull up signs pointing to Santa display

WATCH: Southaven officials pull up signs pointing to Santa display

SOUTHAVEN, Miss. — A woman who puts on a big Christmas event every year is asking for an apology from the mayor of Southaven.

FOX13 went to the city to find out why some are saying city leaders don’t like Santa Claus.

Debbie Magee said when her signs were removed, it reminded her of the Grinch that stole Christmas.
She wants an explanation from Southaven City leaders.

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“We have children that ask for tons of toys and we have children that ask for shoes – it means a lot to me and my family,” said an emotional Debbie Magee.

This is the last year Magee and her family are hosting Christmas in Springfield Cove after 35 years.

“Most of the kids know our Santa as the real Southaven Santa, we’ve seen thousands of children over the years,” Magee said.

People from all over Southaven come to see Santa on her street.

This year, Magee was caught off guard when she learned the city was snatching up street signs that direct drivers to the event.

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“It was a good 18 hours before we found out that the city had actually picked them up and by that time everybody on Facebook was looking for our signs,” she said.

Southaven Mayor Darren Musselwhite said the signs violated a city ordinance because they’re too close to the road.

He sent a statement saying, in part, “nobody is preventing the event or the signs as long as they’re in compliance with city ordinances.”

“It’s been marred by a city administration that could not be inconvenienced to make a phone call or have a quick meeting,” said Magee.

Magee said they have been putting the signs up in the same place every year and the mayor never complained before.

She said the mayor is doing this because her family is close friends with a newly elected alderman who she said doesn’t get along with the mayor.

FOX13 reached out to the mayor to ask him about that.

“That’s the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard,” Musselwhite said.

Magee said crews spent most of their Friday putting signs out again so that people will know where to go.

The mayor said the problem has been resolved and feels everything was blown out of proportion.

The event goes on every Friday and Saturday night until the end of the year.