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Spring Weekend Festivities And Easter Observances

March 30, 1986

Undated (AP) _ Easter egg hunts, fashion parades, horse races, boogeying at the beaches and appeals for help for the needy marked the Easter weekend, as many people looked forward to sunrise services.

The Rev. G. Richard Lobs III of St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in Geneva, Ill., said his Easter message would be: ″Easter is night turned to day. ... The earth is bathed in the light of dawn. Light is cleanliness, order, hope and life.″

President Reagan and his wife, Nancy, were at their California ranch and had nothing scheduled for Easter Sunday, said spokesman Larry Speakes.

″Easter time for Christians and Passover for Jews are meant to be times of spiritual awareness and of deepening encounter with the Lord and with the Lord’s injunction that all nations and people of the world live in peace and harmony with each other,″ Reagan said in his weekly radio address Saturday.

In Honolulu, former Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos and his wife, Imelda, invited 500 people to a ″bring-your-own″ party at the rented house they moved into less than a week ago, far from the lavish Malacanang Palace in Manila.

The rite of spring started Saturday in South Carolina with the Carolina Cup, the state’s most popular horse racing day. More than 40,000 people toting picnic lunches and wearing their spring fashions watched underdog Retador take first place.

South Carolina also had a parade, egg hunts, entertainment and a carnival at the 20th Annual Governor’s Frog Jump in Springfield, held to pick a state champion for the national jumping contest this summer in Calaveras County, Calif. A frog named Astro lived up to his lofty name when he spiraled skyward in three mighty hops before landing 14 feet, 9 1/2 inches from the launch pad to win the event.

In Baltimore, little Sarah Ramsey had the Midas touch Saturday as she found the lone golden egg at an Easter egg hunt sponsored by the Maryland Science Center. Her prize was $100 in toys, but she was not too excited.

″I got a lot of toys already,″ she said.

In Tennessee, newly freed convict Reginald White returned to the Shelby County Correction Center to carry the cross in an inmate-written play about the crucifixion.

″I wanted to play a part so I could help somebody else understand you can do more, even when you’re in prison,″ he said.

In Seattle, live rabbits became artists’ models Saturday for the ″Draw and Paint Bunnies″ art class at the Pacific Arts Center.

For many, a weekend at the beach was in order to shed memories of winter’s cold and gloom, and 300,000 to 325,000 people were expected at South Carolina’s 65-mile Grand Strand ocean beaches.

Not everyone favored crowded places. Sharon Boyko, 33, an emergency room nurse at the Albany (N.Y.) Medical Center planned to set out alone ″as soon as the sun rises″ Easter morning to hike the 2,154-mile Appalachian Trail from Spencer Mountain, Ga., to Mount Katahdin, Maine, arriving about June 20. She hopes to raise $20,000 for charity.

In Southern California, where police arrested more than 100 rowdy youths Friday and early Saturday in Palm Springs, festivities included everything from a gala comedy benefit to an egg hunt at the Queen Mary and Spruce Goose in Long Beach to a host of sunrise services.

″Comic Relief,″ a three-hour benefit performance, featuring hosts Robin Williams, Whoopi Goldberg and Billy Crystal, for America’s poor and homeless was on the calendar Saturday night at the Universal Amphitheater.

Quakers readied an Easter Sunday peace demonstration at Vandenberg Air Force Base, a site of missile tests, in Santa Barbara County, 140 miles northwest of Los Angeles.

Some 20 celebrities, including actor Lorenzo Lamas and actress Lois Nettleton, attended an Easter celebration Friday at the Motion Picture & Television Country House, said spokeswoman Carol Sanders. Singer Rosemary Clooney and actor Robert Guillaume planned to join Roman Catholic Archbishop Roger Mahony at the 66th annual Hollywood Bowl Easter Sunrise Service. Singer Pat Boone, actress Carrie Fisher and actor Ricardo Montalban were to help the Union Rescue Mission in Los Angeles kick off its festivities for the homeless.

The day wouldn’t be complete without New York City’s annual Easter Parade on Fifth Avenue, immortalized in song by Irving Berlin and Judy Garland. The avenue was to be closed to vehicles between 44th and 57th streets for the parade, which has no floats and no bands - just street entertainers and thousands of people showing off Easter finery.

New York City churches also will have sunrise services, and one service will be conducted at the 86th floor observatory of the Empire State Building.

A similar observance is held annually outside Atlanta, where thousands of people were expected atop Stone Mountain, a 700-foot-high granite outcropping, for an Easter sunrise service.

″The mountain is located in a plain, and you can see forever,″ said the Rev. Bob Allred, pastor of the Stone Mountain United Methodist Church. ″Those who attend ... are provided with an unusual spiritual experience as they watch a large orange sun burst out of the darkness.″

In the mountains west of Denver, a 39th annual sunrise service was scheduled at Red Rocks, a natural rock amphitheater. An ecumenical sunrise service was scheduled in Boston Harbor aboard the USS Constitution, the wooden ″Old Ironsides.″

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