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Silver Spring Christmas tree at the root of holiday controversy

Thursday - 11/21/2013, 1:20pm  ET

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Here's what downtown Silver Spring's Christmas tree looks like. (WTOP/Rachel Nania)

SILVER SPRING, Md. - A non-traditional holiday display in downtown Silver Spring is the center of differing opinions for its alternative and colorful display.

The Christmas tree is actually far from a living, or once living, thing.

Instead of branches and needles, the 30-foot decoration is made up of 58 disk sleds, 10 sports balls, 18 rackets, 19 chairs and stools, 4 tables, 5 xylophones, 89 tub sleds, 12 helmets, 7 bats, 2 crayon coin banks, 2 plastic brooms and several Frisbees.

Some local residents have shared their opinions on Downtown Silver Spring's Facebook page, expressing their displeasure in the lack of "tradition," while others praise the tree's color, creativity and ingenuity.

The installation, titled "Playtime Jubilee," was designed by Karl Unnasch. He was selected after the county held a public call to artists over the summer and noted for his "clever approach to public art and charitable concept," says a Downtown Silver Spring news release.

No public funds were used for the tree.

The toys Unnasch used for the tree were donated by Strosniders Hardware and will be given to charity "A Wider Circle," a nonprofit that works to end poverty.

What do you think of this display?Post a comment in this story, comment on WTOP's Facebook Page or use #WTOP on Twitter.

An up-close look at the downtown Silver Spring tree, 'Playtime Jubilee,' which is made of colorful toys. (WTOP/Rachel Nania)

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