The traditional Easter Sunrise Service at Mather Point and the annual Rotary Club Easter Egg hunt are among this weekend’s holiday activities at Grand Canyon.
The big event of the weekend will no doubt be the Easter Sunrise Service on Sunday morning. The service will begin at 5:40 a.m., 10 minutes before sunrise.
The service, promoted as interdenominational, will feature the "University Singers" from Northern Arizona University as well as musicians from the Flagstaff Christian Fellowship. Pastor Ed Purkey of the Grand
Canyon Community Church said the 75-voice NAU choir will perform a combination of classical and African-American spiritual selections.
The Flagstaff Christian Fellowship group, known as the "Praise Band," features a half dozen instrumentalists, singers and a keyboardist.
"They are going to sing during the scriptures and message section," Purkey said. "There will also be a congregational song or two. There will be a lot of music, reading of scripture and prayer and not a lot of preaching."
"Christ the Lord Is Risen Today" will be among the traditional songs to be included in the service. Besides Purkey, other local ministers will assist.
Those planning to attend will need to utilize the in-park shuttle bus system. General parking will be available in lots at Grand Canyon Marketplace, Park Headquarters and Maswik Transportation Center. National Park Service shuttle buses to and from those areas will be provided.
The Xanterra Transportation Department’s in-park shuttles will also be running, beginning at
4:35 a.m. Stops include the El Tovar Hotel (4:35, 4:50, 5, 5:10 and 5:20), Bright Angel Lodge (4:35, 4:40,
4:55, 5:05, 5:15 and 5:25) and Maswik Lodge (4:35, 4:40, 4:45,
5, 5:10, 5:20 and 5:30) with the destination being Mather Point (4:45,
4:50, 4:55, 5:10, 5:20, 5:30, 5:40).
Grand Canyon Eco-Shuttle will provide service to and from Tusayan. Buses will depart from both Best Western Grand Canyon Squire Inn and Quality Inn and Suites at 4:40 a.m. There will be a 4:50 a.m., stop at Holiday Inn Express. The eco-shuttle will arrive at Mather Point at 5:20 a.m., in plenty of time for the service. Two coaches will be utilized. The 100 seats will be available on a first-come, first-served basis.
Limited parking will be available at Mather Point for those with disabilities.
Purkey advises those planning to attend to dress warmly. Temperatures could be below freezing at that time of the morning.
Purkey said he expects the service to last from 30 to 35 minutes. A crowd of around 2,000 could be anticipated.
For more information on the Easter Sunrise Service, contact the interdenominational Grand Canyon Community Church at 638-2340 or via e-mail at: firstname.lastname@example.org.