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7 tips for attending Red Rocks Easter Sunrise Service

Posted at 3:29 PM, Apr 14, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-14 17:32:14-04

MORRISON, Colo. — Spending Easter Morning bundled up at the Red Rocks Amphitheater Sunrise Service has become a uniquely Colorado tradition. This is the 70th year – it was actually one of the first events after Red Rocks opened.

So here are 7 tips you need to know before you go:

The Early Bird Gets The Parking Space.

In 2015, about 12,000 people attended the service. At one point, It was so packed police wouldn’t even let people get off the highway exit because it was too backed up, organizers say. Bottom line: you don’t want to be late and deal with that headache. If you’re going to get up at the crack of dawn, make it worth it. Gates open at 4:30 a.m., and organizers recommend you get there between 3:30am and 4:00am for the best chance of missing traffic congestion and get the best seats. and Music begins at 5:30 a.m.       

Skip Your Easter Finest. Dress in Layers.

Look, this event was canceled last year because of SNOW. It is going to be dark and cold at 5a.m. Think 43 degrees. So, forget your Easter bonnet and put on a warm hat and gloves. Grab your fleece. And your hard shell. A blanket might be nice too, just in case the seats are cold or wet. Also, be sure to check if it’s snowing and if the event is canceled. (Currently, the forecast is good!)

Don’t Leave The Service Too Early.

You’ll miss something special.  Every year lately, as a symbol of love and peace, the organizers release doves at the end of the service. It is a truly beautiful moment, and you’ll miss it if you try to beat the rush home for Easter Lunch. (You could stick around for the brunch there-- To make reservations call 303-697-4939 ext. 111.  More info here. 

Enjoy the View. And maybe brag a little. 

Watching the sun rise over Red Rocks with Denver nestled asleep below is a spiritual experience in its own right, but add incredible music and inspirational speakers, and you’ll understand why people willingly make this early-morning trek and battle the crowd. You’ll probably want to take a picture or two and post about it on social media. The hashtag is #RedRocksEaster.

Get your Lutheran on. 

The event is sponsored by the Colorado Council of Churches, and it’s a free interdenominational service, but this year they are commemorating the 500th anniversary of the Reformation led by Martin Luther, so this year is a little more Lutheran than usual with the presiding bishop of the Rocky Mountain Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America delivering the sermon. The musical guests this year: Renewed: A Colorado-based Christian band; Father Michael Nicosia, Vicar of the Presiding Bishop, Rocky Mtn. Region, Ecumenical Catholic Communion; and faculty members from Wartburg College, a Lutheran institution in Waverly, Iowa.

If you just can’t get up that early, you can watch live on line… or later. 

This year, the worship service will be streamed online from the Colorado Council of Churches website  and Facebook Live. By 3 p.m., the livestream recording will be available for viewing on-demand from the CCC website.

It’s free. But it would be nice to donate. 

If you want to help cover the costs, you can click here.  Also, you could bring canned food for the food drive.

For more information, click here.