DAVID CITY, Neb. (KMTV) — Some are calling it a Christmas miracle, after Hallmark came and decorated one, small Nebraska city. While the community looks great, the surprise also brought something back, that's even more important.
David City has been through some rough times the last few years. One factory where many locals, closed. Construction projects to the surrounding roads took years to finish and caused people to not stop in town, thus hurting businesses. "The businesses, I think we kind of lost that will to live, will to survive as a business," said Renee Kosch, Owner of Renee's Same As It Ever Was, antique store. Other key public figures who were behind Christmas events, passed away, taking those events with them.
"We haven't had any Christmas traditions, we did years ago but it started to fade away," said Kelcie Keeling of the Butler County Chamber of Commerce. The city was down and depressed, and after Keeling sent out the release of the factory closing, she was surprised to see something good come out of it. "Little did I know that Hallmark Channel would actually read that," said Keeling.
Hallmark has ties to David City. The founder, Joyce C. Hall was actually born there, and lived there for 11 years. After finding out about the bad luck, the company came to decorate the city, and provide other decorations for Christmas festivals. Then slowly, things started to change. The festivals that were long gone, started coming back. Downtown was full once again. After word spread about the decorations, many traveled from all over to see it, which then helped business owners like Renee.
"It increased business (100%), it was like I never had hardly anybody come in, and now people from all over the United States come in, I mean we're busy," said Kosch.
All the festivals, and the decorations also brought something else back, holiday spirit. "The timing was perfect, in a typical hallmark movie," said Keeling.
Now heading into 2020, many are optimistic for what the future holds for David City, that just months prior was more of a curse than a gift. "We had a flood earlier this year, it's been kind of a tumultuous year so to say, but it's really ended on a positive note for David City." said Keeling.
If you want to check out the decorations, the city plans to keep them up until around mid-January.