Lincoln has Christmas in July. Now David City will have Christmas in October.

The Hallmark Channel announced Tuesday that it will be coming to David City as part of its annual Hometown Christmas event.

“Christmas Comes Early to David City, Nebraska,” is an event Oct. 30 to honor the Butler County town, which is birthplace of Joyce C. Hall, founder of Hallmark Cards.

Hall was born in David City in 1891 and moved to Kansas City, Missouri, in 1910, where he eventually founded the company that would become Hallmark.

The Hallmark Channel, perhaps best known for its marathon presentations of Christmas-themed movies, is partnering with the Butler County Chamber of Commerce to decorate the town square as Candy Cane Lane. The event will include Santa Claus arriving in a 1910 Model T Ford.

It could be the perfect backdrop for one of Hallmark's original Christmas movies, such as "Christmas Wishes & Mistletoe Kisses," "Christmas Scavenger Hunt" and "Merry & Bright."

Kelcie Keeling, the Chamber of Commerce's executive director, said the Hallmark Channel is donating a "substantial amount" of money so David City can buy all new Christmas decorations to replace ones that are 25-30 years old.

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Keeling said the timing couldn't be better, as downtown businesses have been suffering after several years of work to redo streets and storm sewers in the town of about 2,800 people about 40 miles north of Lincoln.

In addition, one of the community's largest employers announced earlier this year it will shut down before the end of November, leaving nearly 200 people out of work.

Keeling said the Hallmark Channel reached out to David City officials after seeing news of the closing, and she's hoping that in working with the channel, the town will be able to "change the narrative and make it more positive."

She noted that Hallmark has helped out the town once before, providing a $100,000 donation in 1982 to create a community fund.

"We're just so grateful that they're coming back," Keeling said.

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Reach the writer at 402-473-2647 or molberding@journalstar.com.

On Twitter @LincolnBizBuzz.


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