Lincoln family brings back tradition, feeds hundreds on Easter

LINCOLN, Neb. (COLOGNE) – For nearly four decades, the family that owns daVinci has prepared a special meal for Easter.

This is for those who are down on their luck this holiday or need a little company.

On Sunday, they brought back this tradition for the first time since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic from 11 am to dawn. Outside the daVinci at 11th and G streets, the store had a steady stream of people from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Olivia Knudson was too young to walk when she arrived for her family’s Easter dinner at daVinci.

“I was probably two years old when they first brought me in, and I remember when I couldn’t help it,” says Olivia Knudson, the owner’s daughter. “I was in the basement playing with the kids.”

It was all so new to his young eyes: strangers coming and going, a herd of volunteers, and three generations of Knudsons rushing to prepare and serve meatballs and pizza. As she transitioned into her role, Easter became her favorite holiday.

“When I could lift a cupcake pan, I would go around and help people,” Olivia said. “And just putting a smile on someone’s face or seeing that is amazing to me.”

Sunday marks the 38th time the Knudsons have hosted a free Easter meal.

“As a Christian family, we feel very strongly about returning to Lincoln and supporting the community,” said Kelly Knudson, owner of daVinci.

60 volunteers and family members prepared to serve nearly 700 meals.

“I’ve known some of the families that have been coming to the house for years, so when I see them again, it’s really amazing because I haven’t seen them in three years,” Olivia said.

The Knudsons said they were pleased with the turnout on Sunday, and they plan to keep the tradition alive as long as they own the restaurant.

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