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      How the Panhandle is celebrating Easter

      Easter; easily one of the most important days on the Christian calendar. Also, next to Christmas, one of the few days where people feel obligated to head to church. That is why so many churches in the area are reaching out through easter egg hunts and events hoping to draw people to the church.

      "This time of year is huge for the church. This is one of the few occasions where all sorts of people will show up... so it's a big deal. As a church we definitely want to put our best foot forward," said James Grizzle, youth pastor at Grace Church.

      His church will be hosting a large easter egg hunt tomorrow morning at 11 a.m. Children from all around the city are invited to come and find the 6,000 eggs theywilll have scattered around Sam Houston park. Volunteers are also welcome to join their group at 10 a.m. to help spread the eggs far and wide.

      "Easter is not about the bunnies, it's not about the eggs, it's about Jesus. But if we can use an Easter egg hunt, regardless of its ties back to the past... we can just use it as a velcro point just to get kids to stick and know, we'll have fun. If that brings 200 plus kids this year, they'll get to hear the Gospel of Jesus," said Grizzle.

      Across town, Pleasant Valley United Methodist Church is hosting a more serious event in honor of Good Friday. They will be walking attendees through an interactive Easter pageant, that will take them through the various stages of the crucifixcion, including the Last Supper and Jesus' trial in front of Pontius Pilate.

      "The meaning of Easter is the resurrection, and we address that in church, and we address it strongly. Not just on Easter Sunday, but throughout the year, and we just tell our children, you know that Jesus died for our sins, but we allow them to celebrate, you know, with each other and have their eggs, and things like that," said Rob Blum, pastor of Pleasant Valley United Methodist Church.

      The Fulkerson family made their way to Groom, Texas, where they paid their respects at the various statues representing the stages of the crucifixion. The Groom cross is the largest cross in the entire Western hemisphere. Angela Fulkerson said the 90 mile trip made the upcoming Easter Sunday even more meaningful for she and her family.

      "As a family, we are going around and praying at the staions and spending time together. It revolves around everything we do in terms of teaching our kids the faith," Fulkerson said.

      Other non-religious events occurring throughout the week and weekend include spring and easter themed story time reading at the East branch of Amarillo library and two easter events at the Amarillo Zoo and Amarillo Discovery Center. For more information on events going on this weekend, check our website calendar.