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Holiday tradition brought back to life in small town

Posted at 6:59 PM, Nov 22, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-22 19:59:17-05

DUNLAP, Iowa (KMTV) — A small town in Iowa brought back a piece of its history this evening. A life-size nativity scene made entirely out of wax is on display as we inch closer to Christmas.

81-year-old Don Thompson has been a part of this community since the 60s. For years, Thompson hoped the famous nativity scene her in Dunlap would come back again.

"For years we wondered what {the lights} they were and finally one time we drove by there and see what it was and stopped...and I'll remember that first time I saw and we've been back many times since," he says.

The nativity scene, created almost entirely out of wax, was brought to life in the 50s by the Dunam family.

Grant money and donations from the community helped Ed Wendt and his friends bring it back.

"I think it just brought them a little closer together...and what organizations do to help the benefit of the town, and some of the people that moved to Omaha or Des Moines or far away. They'll come back and they'll pass through and it'll just bring part of their memories back," says Wendt.

Inside you'll find Mary, Joseph, the Three Wise Men and even camels...and of course, Jesus with gifts near his manger.

There's also a single pew from a nearby church and a bench for prayer. Wendt says he hopes people will come in to reflect.

"You know we made it happen and that was through the whole town...the whole town made it happen," he says.