Churches and community groups get creative for Easter celebrations amid pandemic

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — With the holiday weekend just around the corner, people are preparing to celebrate another Easter during the pandemic. After most services and celebrations were canceled last year, churches and community groups are improvising.

There had to be a certain level of creativity when planning Easter events and services while maintaining the safety factor. It seems in Indianapolis it is going to be a happy Easter after all.

At New Direction Church on East 38th Street, they traditionally have an Easter extravaganza coupled with their in-person Easter services.

“You know, it is our hope that we could come back and worship for Easter Sunday. It has been a year now that we have had to be online only with our services,” pastor Kenneth Sullivan Jr. said.

In lieu of the big event, they are hosting a drive thru and trading the sanctuary for a virtual service.

“For starters we are going to have a car show that is going to be in the back. So when people come and visit they will see that car show and then they will be able to come around and even register for vaccinations. In addition to that, we have a petting zoo,” Sullivan Jr. said.

They will also be giving away bikes, tablets and, of course, Easter candy. The church’s food pantry will also be giving out Easter dinners.

“Easter is what I would refer to as Super Bowl for believers. It is the biggest weekend. It is what our faith is founded upon, the resurrection of Jesus Christ,” Sullivan Jr. said.

Indy Parks is hosting an egg scavenger hunt this Saturday at Riverside Park, a tradition that was canceled in 2020. They say they will be making up for lost fun.

“We will have eggs, empty eggs scattered all around. We will have our kids search for them and when they want to turn them in for treats they will bring them over to our counter where we have hand sanitizer and masks for everyone,” Roman Coffer, assistant manager with Indy Parks, said.

With COVID restrictions still in place, Coffer says the outdoor event is ideal to allow kids to still have a good time.

“We have plenty of space so 6 feet we can follow all of the rules and keep everyone socially distant. So we are just here to have fun and it is all for the kids,” Coffer said.

News 8 reached out to multiple churches in central Indiana and many are hosting a combination of in-person and online services. For those hosting in person services, you either have to register ahead of time for a seat to allow for social distancing or it is first come, first served.