Easter is quickly approaching. There are many celebrations planned in Southern Illinois. These range from special worship services on Resurrection Day to specialty Easter Egg Hunts.
One of the sure signs that Easter was coming as a little kid was that the candy isle in Tresslar’s at Salem filled with beautiful Easter candies and baskets. We may have had palm leaves at church for Palm Sunday to represent Jesus arriving in Jerusalem. We had Easter parties in elementary school, and our class Room Mothers always treated us well. (Perhaps I’m biased, but Selmaville School District had some of the best.)
As I got older, I became more aware of Lent, and the practice of giving up something to symbolize Jesus’ sacrifice. If you drive through Southern Illinois, or much of the United States during the 40 days before Easter, you might notice restaurants advertising fish on Fridays for those not eating other meat. Eggs may be on sale (and possibly sold out) during the week before Easter along with various types of food safe dye and likely vinegar. The smell of vinegar to this day reminds me of dying Easter eggs as a kid. We often had the egg dye kits with the little color tablets that dissolved in vinegar…
Some places will be closed on Good Friday, the day representing the crucifixion of Jesus and his death at Calvary. Even more places will be closed Easter Sunday. I had always assumed it was this way everywhere until I visited my grad school roommate and her family in Costa Rica. Many people there have vacation during Semana Santa (Holy week.) On Good Friday, towns reenact Jesus carrying the cross with a parade and people portraying various characters. It is a beautiful and sobering experience. Not only are many things closed on Good Friday, some do not even drive that day. While we tend to close things on Easter Sunday in the United States to allow people time off to celebrate with family, many things reopen on Sunday there. This is because Ressurection Sunday is the day to rejoice again. Closing on Good Friday and reopening on Easter for some symbolizes a period of mourning followed by rejoicing in celebration of Christ’s Resurrection.
I can remember hearing about people gathering for Sunrise Services at Bald Knob Cross in Alto Pass for as long as I’ve been on this earth. My parents used to talk about how our postal carrier was one of the many people who helped in the initial building of the cross. We made trips to visit it many times. Although the little road leading to the cross was a bit scary, the view from the hill was gorgeous.
I’ve heard that the Easter morning services are beautiful–and sometimes a bit chilly up there. This year, there is even a concert planned at the cross the night before Easter.
It seems Good Friday 2019 will be a little cooler than some. In Southern Illinois, Easter weather can be pretty much anything. I can remember an Easter as a child visiting my aunt in the hospital at Flora. It was so hot that day that some of our candy in the car started melting. In a more recent year, my kids hunted Easter eggs with light snow in the air.
Although this is by far not an exhaustive list of Easter events in Southern Illinois, a few highlights are listed below. Links to events in Southern Illinois are listed in the Events section of this website as well as the ASOSI app.
4/20/19 Worship at the Crosshttps://www.facebook.com/events/1311521015664614/?ti=as
4/21/19 83rd Annual Easter Sunrise Service https://www.facebook.com/events/1311521015664614/?ti=as
4/21/19 #EasteratCornerstoneSI https://www.facebook.com/304723258405/posts/10156511171898406/
4/20/19 Adult Easter Egg Hunt at Starview Vineyardshttps://www.facebook.com/events/243137456640250/?ti=as
4/20/19 Easter Egg Hunt at Love & Truth Churchhttps://www.facebook.com/events/382060802585678/?ti=as
4/21/19 Easter: Egg Hunt, BBQ,iPad & Xbox Giveaway, Three Bounce Houses at Sunfield Baptist Churchhttps://www.facebook.com/events/288297261865558/?ti=as
4/20/19 Easter Eggstravganza
4/20/19 Johnston City Easter Egg Hunthttps://www.facebook.com/events/2085667121524160/?ti=as
4/19/19 Breakfast with the Easter Bunny at The Vault Café on the Squarehttps://www.facebook.com/events/407081753462594/?ti=as
4/20/19 Easter Fun with Franklin County 4-H at Black Diamond Harley Davidsonhttps://www.facebook.com/events/699596973789077/?ti=as
4/20/19 Easter Glow Egg Skate at Emery Brothers Skating Rinkhttps://www.facebook.com/events/2592037817479789/?ti=as
4/20/19 Easter Egg Hunt at Whiteash Free Willl Baptist Churchhttps://www.facebook.com/events/263642884579527/?ti=as
4/20/19 West Frankfort Easter Egg Hunt https://www.facebook.com/events/200723847536342/?ti=as