Trees are in blossom and flowers blanket the hills and roadsides. Spring is here and that means the Easter/Passover season can’t be far behind. This year, as they often do, Easter and Passover coincide. Passover, an eight-day celebration, starts the evening of Friday, April 6, and Easter is April 8.
Whether one is observing a sacred holiday or simply celebrating the coming of spring, Mother Nature already is dressed in her finest to greet the season of new life. There will be a variety of both secular and sacred events across DeKalb County this holiday season. Here is a sampling.
Just for fun
Egg hunt on the Decatur Square
Decatur’s popular Easter Egg Hunt on the Square, sponsored by the Decatur Business Association, returns this year on Saturday, March 31. Youngsters are invited to bring their baskets, put on their bunny ears and line up for the hunt that begins promptly at 11 a.m. Egg hunters are organized by age groups, infants through grade five.
Passover to be celebrated in the park
Families with pre-school-age children and their older siblings are invited to Zaban Park in Dunwoody for Let my People Play! Passover Family Fun at the J! Sunday, April 1, 10 a.m. - noon. The event will be a morning of Passover songs, crafts, stories and fun at the Marcus Jewish Community Center Atlanta. Crafts will include Passover placemats, Elijah cups, candlesticks, Seder trays, Afikomen bags and more. Parents will have the opportunity to attend sessions such as How to Host a Child-Friendly Seder and Passover Song Singing 101. The program will begin with Passover songs and a puppet show in the theater at 10 a.m. There is no charge to attend and the event is open to the entire community. Zaban Park is located at 5342 Tilly Mill Road, Dunwoody.
Multi-generation fun planned in Decatur
The UPAC Nursing Home will host Building Bridges Between Generations, a multi-generation Easter event sponsored by the Annie W. Thomas Foundation Saturday, March 31, noon – 4 p.m. The egg hunt and cookout will feature face painting, a moonwalk and an egg hunt for children, and bingo and checkers for UPAC residents. Both generations will participate in egg decorating. All events are free. UPAC Nursing Home is located at 3200 Panthersville Road, Decatur.
Eggstravaganza returns to Callanwolde Saturday, April 7, 10 a.m. – noon. A family favorite for years, Callanwolde’s Easter egg hunt features thousands of eggs, a live performance by Enzo Clown, Atlanta Braves game tickets and prizes, arts and crafts and a chance to meet the Easter Bunny. Families are invited to bring Easter baskets and cameras for a fun day in Callanwolde’s beautiful gardens and grounds.
The charge for children 12 and younger is $10 in advance or $12 at the door. Adults are admitted free. Tickets can be purchased online at TicketLeap. All proceeds benefit the Callanwolde dance program.
In case of rain the event will be cancelled. No onsite parking will be available. There will be free parking and shuttle bus service beginning at 9:30 a.m. at the Emory University Briarcliff Campus, 1256 Briarcliff Road, a half mile north of Callanwolde. For more information call (404) 872-5338 or visit www.callanwolde.org.
Dinosaur Egg Hunt at Fernbank
The Fernbank Museum is offering a day of springtime family fun with its third annual Dinosaur Egg Hunt Saturday, April 7. This year’s event will feature age-appropriate timed egg hunts, thousands of prize-filled eggs and special activities, including an alligator slide, Radio Disney AM 590, dinosaur mascot, temporary tattoos and game corner. Advance registration is required to participate in a timed egg hunt. The Dinosaur Egg Hunt is $5 in addition to museum admission for member children and free for adult members. Admission for non-member children is $5 for those 2 and younger and $20.50 for those 3 to 12 years old. Non-member adults will be charged $17.50. Space is limited. The Fernbank Museum is located at 767 Clifton Road, NE, Atlanta. For more information, visit www.fernbankmuseum.org.
Events in Avondale Estates
Avondale Estates will hold its Spring Extravaganza Easter weekend, starting with the annual Easter Egg Hunt at 10 a.m., Saturday, April 7. The egg hunt, a city-sponsored event, will be held at Lake Avondale for children 10 and younger.
At 11 a.m. canine friends get to join in the fun at the Avondale Estates Spring Dog Parade. Area residents are invited to bring their dogs to the front of the Community Club, where the parade, sponsored by the city of Avondale Estates and the ad hoc dog park committee, starts. Awards will be offered in such categories as best costume, best owner/dog duo, most spirited/enthusiastic and best behaved. Costumes are not required to participate. For a registration form and guidelines, visit www.avondaleestates.org.
There will be a parade in Avondale Estates on Easter Sunday, April 8, but it won’t be quite like the one in the old Fred Astaire-Judy Garland movie Easter Parade. This will be the city’s annual Antique Car Parade. Hosted by the Antique Automobile Club of America, the annual Antique Car Parade will line up beginning at 1 p.m. for the parade that starts at 2:30 p.m. on South Avondale Road and ends at Willis Park where the cars remain for display. For more information, visit www.avondaleestates.org.
Easter at Villa Christina
Villa Christina’s rose gardens will be filled with colorful Easter eggs and blooming flowers, as the Dunwoody restaurant hosts its annual Easter Sunday Brunch on April 8, 11:30 a.m. - 3 p.m. The brunch will feature made-to-order omelets and pancakes, seafood, prime rib and homemade pastas along with an array of desserts. Children’s activities will include an egg hunt, arts and crafts, face painting and a Moonwalk. Parents may want to bring cameras, because the Easter Bunny will be on hand to pose for photos. Reservations are required. The brunch costs $45 for adults and $25 for children 6 to 12 years old, and is free for children 5 years old and younger. Villa Christina is located at 4000 Summit Boulevard Atlanta. For reservations or more information, call (404) 303-0133 or visit www.villachristina www.villachristina.
Many in the community remain mindful that Easter is a commemoration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ and Passover commemorates the deliverance of the Hebrews from slavery in Egypt. There are a number of special religious programs and services are being held throughout the county.
Rainbow Park Baptist Church to hold Holy Week activities
Holy Week, the week leading up to Easter, will be marked by a series of special events at Rainbow Park Baptist Church in Decatur. On Sunday, April 1, Rainbow Park will hold its Palm Sunday evening program, featuring a play, a spiritual dance routine and other various musical performances, 5 - 6:30 p.m. The church will host “Drive-Thru Prayer” in the parking lot of the church on Monday, April 2, 5 - 6:30 p.m. On Tuesday, April 3, Online Holy Week Bible Study 8 – 8:45 p.m. at www.rainbowparkbaptist.org. On Wednesday, April 4, a Passover meal will be at 6 p.m. and worship service at 7 p.m. Guest speaker Rev. W. C. Blondin will deliver the message and the church will offer the option of participating in an authentic foot washing ceremony at the Maundy Thursday Service Thursday, April 5, at 7 p.m. Seven sermonettes will be presented by various ministers during the Good Friday “Seven Last Words” Services Friday, April 6, at noon and 7 p.m.. Rainbow Park’s final “Holy Week” event will be on Easter Sunday, April 8, when service will start at 10 a.m.
Rainbow Park Baptist Church is located at 2941 Columbia Drive, Decatur. For more information, visit www.rainbowparkbaptist.org or contact Rainbow Park Baptist church at 9404) 288-1910 or text holyweek to 69302.
Easter drama at Shallowford Presbyterian
Shallowford Presbyterian Church’s drama ministry is presenting The Lord Is My Shepherd, a play included in the Maundy Thursday evening worship service April 5. The Lord is My Shepherd is a drama using the words of the 23rd Psalm, the words of Jesus during the time of the Last Supper, and the symbols of faith. The drama will culminate in sharing communion, the bread and cup, around the tables together. Guests may attend the service without attending the dinner.
The program starts with dinner at 6 p.m. The drama follows at 7 p.m. and Holy Communion concludes the evening. The public is invited. There is no cost to attend the service and the drama. Dinner with reservations is $8 per adult ($10 without reservations) and $4 per child with a $25 family maximum. To make reservations, call (404) 321-1844. Shallowford Presbyterian Church is located at 2375 Shallowford Road, Atlanta. For more information, visit www.shallowford.org.
MJCCA to hold community Passover Seder
The MJCCA invites families to a special Community Passover Seder Friday, April 6, 6 – 8 p.m. led by Rabbi Brian Glusman. The Passover Seder experience will include readings from the Haggadah, engaging explanations, festive songs, and a kosher meal catered by The Goodfriend Company (under AKC supervision) with a choice of chicken or brisket, matzoh ball soup, gefilte fish, matzoh kugel, vegetables and dessert. The event will be in Zaban Park, 5342 Tilly Mill Road, Dunwoody. The price is $50 for adults and $25 for children 4 to 8 years old. Children 3 and younger are admitted free. Reservations must be made in advance. To RSVP, contact the registration team at (678) 812-4010. Kid Zone will offer babysitting at a cost of $10 per child. To reserve a space in advance contact Kid Zone at (678) 812-3830.
Stone Mountain Park Sunrise Service
Stone Mountain Park will hold its 68th annual Easter Sunrise Service April 8 at 7 a.m. The Stone Mountain Ministerial Association will present two simultaneous, non-denominational Easter services at the top of Stone Mountain and at the Memorial Hall Terrace. Park gates and Summit Skyride open at 4 a.m. Services begin at approximately 7 a.m. Visitors are asked to allow an extra hour or more for large crowds. Vehicle entry to the park is $10 for a one-day permit or $35 for annual permit. Church vans and buses enter free. Round-trip Skyride fees are $9 for adults, $7 for children 3-11 and $5.50 one-way. There are no fees for the walk-up trail to the top of the mountain.