This is Marcia Lane, your roving reporter, wishing you a blessed Easter.
It’s Good Friday and Christians worldwide are observing the commemoration of the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ. That will mean special services in many churches around the tri-county area. This weekend leads up to the celebration of Easter Sunday, which marks the resurrection of Jesus.
Easter weekend also means closing of a number of businesses and organizations. Because it’s not a federal holiday, Good Friday does mean banks and post offices are open. However, schools in Flagler, St. Johns and Putnam counties are closed today. St. Johns County students and teachers also will be out on Monday.
Expect a number of government offices in the tri-county area to be closed today also. Garbage pick-up in several municipalities including Palatka is cancelled.
At the St. Augustine Amphitheatre today a community worship service for Good Friday takes place with gates opening at 5 p.m. and services at 6 p.m. Food trucks and concessions will be available at the Amp on A1A on Anastasia Island.
In St. Augustine the annual Easter Parade is Saturday beginning at 9 a.m. and includes bands, the Royal Family, Easter Bunny, drill teams and the city’s carriage horses wearing their Easter hats. Also known as the Parada de los Caballos y Coches (Parade of Horses and Carriage Horses), it was first held in 1957. Parade route is along San Marco Avenue and through the downtown. Parking is limited but free park and ride shuttle services are available. On Sunday from 1 to 2:30 p.m. the public can take part in the annual Promenade in the Plaza de la Constitucion in downtown St. Augustine.
Easter egg hunts are organized by the St. Johns County Parks and Recreation at different locations this Saturday including Treaty Park, Al Wilke Park & Community Center, Shores United Methodist Church. All are 10-11:30 a.m. with free admission.
Jacksonville Business Connections presents its Fourth annual Hop into Spring Fest at the World Golf Hall of Fame on Saturday from 9 a.m. to noon. Entry is free but the Easter egg hunt is $5 and pre-registration is required.
On Saturday the Easter Bunny hops into Palatka hosts an inaugural Hippity Hoppity River Boppity at Palatka’s riverfront from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Egg hunts are available for ages 0-3, 4 to 8 and 9 to 12-year-olds. And you can get your picture taken with the Easter Bunny. Word is 2,000 eggs are being hidden.
Several breakfasts and hunts are planned Saturday in Putnam County including at the GFWC Crescent City Woman’s Club with a pancake breakfast wit the Easter Bunny and Walking Egg from 9 a.m. to noon and including an Easter egg hunt. Cost is $6. Welaka Woman’s Club and C-GypSea’s Spring Market is Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the clubhouse on County Road 309 and includes an Easter egg hunt at 2 p.m. St. James United Methodist Church holds an Easter egg hunt Breakfast from 7:30 to 10:30 a.m. in Palatka Saturday. Hunts are every half hour. Breakfast is available — $6 for adults, $3 for children. Sunday All Saints Anglican Church on State Road 19 South holds an Easter egg hunt for children following the 11 a.m. service and luncheon. A number of other churches will hold special services.
Although Covid-19 caused Easter sunrise services to be cut out or scaled back during the past two years, several community observations are planned this year. In St. Johns County a sunrise service is planned at the Crescent Beach ramp at 7 a.m. with special music and message in a program presented by Crescent Beach Baptist Church. Vilano Beach will hold a sunrise service at the Vilano Beach entrance with Turning Point at Calvary Baptist. Bring a chair or blanket. In Putnam County, the Central Putnam Ministerial Association holds an Easter sunrise service at the Palatka riverfront from 6:30 to 7:30 a.m. In Interlachen a community-wide Easter Sunrise Service is at 7 a.m. at Mary Wisham Ball Park on State Road 315 South.