AUSTIN (KXAN) — From pugs in costumes and the reveal of Disney’s new Star Wars lands, to tragic incidents like the crash of a refueling tanker in Mississippi, millions have tuned in to KXAN Facebook Lives and read stories covering local events and breaking news across the nation.
These are the stories that got the most reaction on Facebook in 2017 — the most likes, shares and comments.
It doesn’t get any cuter than this! It’s the story of a wonderful little boy who only sees one difference between him and his best friend – their hair.
Williamson tackled the half marathon and exhibited amazing endurance during her running time of six hours, 22 minutes and 57 seconds.
There was a huge amount of interest when the Circuit of the Americas announced their plans for Winter Wonderland, which has its closing night on Dec. 30. Just the idea of a Winter Wonderland with a Santa’s Workshop, petting zoo with camel rides, a hot air balloon, carnival rides and singing Christmas trees was enough to generate enormous interest.
If you missed out, you can watch a video tour here.
Pugs from all over Texas gathered in Grapevine to celebrate the 21st annual “Pug-A-Ween.” All of the proceeds were donated to one of the largest pug rescue organizations in the United States.
News of the Blue Starlite Mini Urban Drive-In’s move to south Austin from its beloved home on an old airport tarmac in Mueller was met with some hesitation. Many wanted to know exactly how far it would be and how much it would cost. Four weeks is all they had — to take a large backyard space and make it the new home of Austin’s only drive-in theater.
When the staff in the KXAN Newsroom first watched this video, there was collective disbelief. “That can’t be real.” At that point, viewers had already sent in a large number of photos and video showing impressive snowfall in the Hill Country, but a winter wonderland in the ACC Hays parking lot was a little too much to believe — at first.
Then more and more images poured in — thousands in just hours — showing the extent of the snowfall.
Duck boats to the rescue! Owner Paul Mahler and his crew packed up one of the amphibious boats and left for Hurricane Harvey-flooded Houston to assist in rescues.
Instead of the voice of her son Harrison, Lori Brown picked up her phone to hear the voice of a frantic woman on May 1 — a call that would change her life.
Harrison had been stabbed in the chest with a hunting knife in an attack on the University of Texas campus that left three other students injured.
His mother’s interview with KXAN’s Alyssa Goard was the most read story on KXAN.com this year. NBC Nightly News shared the post several times, sending the story around the world.
Once the black curtain fell, shouts filled the room as Disney unveiled the plans for its highly anticipated 14-acre Star Wars Lands expected to open at both Walt Disney World and Disneyland in 2019.
The video of the scale model’s reveal, viewed almost 6 million times, was flooded with comments, including one who worriedly asked, “The thing I don’t get is is this a theme park for ants? How do they expect the people to enjoy it when they can’t even get through the doors?” (For reference, watch all 1 hour and 45 minutes of Zoolander).
On July 10, 16 people lost their lives when a Marine Corps KC-130 refueling tanker crashed into a soybean field in rural Mississippi. KXAN went live on Facebook as our NBC affiliate’s helicopter reached the crash scene, showing flames and black smoke over the wreckage.
“You looked up and you saw the plane twirling around,” Andy Jones, who was working on his family catfish farm and witnessed the crash, said. “It was spinning down.” The Facebook Live of the crash was viewed more than 2.4 million times.
You can read short biographies of the 15 Marines and the Navy sailor killed in the crash here.