Members got together and filled the colorful little plastic eggs with Starburst candies, Skittles and the like, but no chocolate.

“It melts,” explained Jock Bingham of Genesis Express as he prepared to hand out the eggs to numerous youngsters whose parents and grandparents drove them through West Cadiz Park on Saturday afternoon.

Cars transporting the youth lined up near the parking lot in readiness for the drive-thru egg event made possible by the Cadiz Lions Club, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Cadiz Baptist Church, the City of Cadiz and other supporters.

Representatives from local groups and businesses handed eggs and other Easter goodies to the youth and their families, with Lions Club member Marsha Pater saying she expected some 800 youth to participate.

After a year’s hiatus from many celebrations due to the coronavirus, the community is embracing Easter this year both with activities in the community and church observances.

“Most of us have been longing for this fellowship again,” noted Steven Neel, the senior minister of Cadiz United Methodist Church, whose congregation had an egg hunt for its youth and a cantata this past Sunday.

Worship services this Sunday, on Easter Sunday, are slated for 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. at the Lakota Drive Church. Those attending the earlier service must wear masks, while those at the second service must wear them in but don’t have to keep the masks on, according to Neel.

Neel said the last Sunday in June was the first time the congregation came back to worship together, and members did so with restrictions.

At least twice, the church has had outbreaks of the coronavirus and been shut down, and a deep cleaning takes place after every service.

The church choir is social distanced, and its members wear plastic face shields. The recent church egg hunt saw youth going out to the playground in smaller numbers at a time.

For the community egg event at the park, organizers of the Lions Club’s annual egg hunt chose to offer an alternative and distribute items to the young participants in their cars.

The club had considered canceling its hunt until a local resident came to a meeting and pointed out to members that the community’s youngsters were having everything taken away from them because of the coronavirus.

“We (had) to think outside the box so this is the way we figured we could do it and still let the child enjoy it,” Pater said of the drive-thru.

Others are finding a variety of ways to mark the upcoming Easter observance, from Cerulean’s BBQ Cook Off and Easter Festival on Saturday (egg hunt begins at noon) to free pictures with the Easter Bunny slated for 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Renaissance Stage.

Hardy Fun Farms, 3651 Hardy Road, opens at 10 a.m. Saturday with a petting zoo, Bump n Jumps, corn pits, hay rides, hayloft movies, Easter egg hunts and Easter bunny pictures.

Cadiz Baptist Church Pastor Justin Carter said his congregation is partnering with the City of Cadiz to show the movie “Hop” free at 7:30 p.m. Saturday in the church parking lot at 82 Main St.

Popcorn, snow cones and other snacks will be provided for those who come to see the movie.

Carter said his congregation wants to partner with groups like the Lions Club and the City of Cadiz and hopes to partner with the city again to show more movies in the church parking lot.

“We want to do our best to reach people,” the pastor noted. “Our idea of a successful event is loving on people and doing what Jesus wants us to do.”

He said his congregation is starting to return to normal with its activities but wants to be careful and thoughtful because of the virus.

As virus numbers continue to decrease, he said the movies in the church parking lot may transition from cars to chairs and blankets.

Carter said Easter Sunday will be a normal service at Cadiz Baptist Church, although he assumes the church will utilize its overflow areas to allow for social distancing.

The service will be streamed to those overflow areas. Sunday school begins at 9:30 a.m. and worship at 10:45 a.m.

At St. Stephen Catholic Church on Canton Road, Father Greg Trawick said his parish began offering its in-person services again last spring, and he noted that it’s been a “real joy” to have the services, the pastor said.

“It’s nice to see our parishioners coming back,” said Trawick, noting that the church has continued to social distance, wear masks and follow hand washing practices for safety.

Easter this year will be much different than last year’s observance, when Trawick recalled that “it was me” via a Facebook Live broadcast.

This year’s observance will include Good Friday services at 6 p.m. Friday, a vigil mass at 8 p.m. Saturday and 8 a.m. services on Sunday.

The focus of the observance will be on Easter, its purpose and its meaning for parishioners.

Trawick noted that the Saturday night vigil is a wonderful service to remember that Jesus rose from the dead and a prayerful service as well.

Sunday morning is not as symbolic, the pastor said, although both events will be a remembrance of being baptized and “what a gift it was for Jesus to free us from our sins.”

He said he’s excited at the prospect of Easter.

“I know all the churches are excited to be able to have everyone gathered and be one,” Trawick said.

Reach Tonya S. Grace at 270-887-3240 or tgrace@kentuckynewera.com.

Reach Tonya S. Grace at 270-887-3240 or tgrace@kentuckynewera.com.

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