Sunrise celebration takes crowd back in time

By Samie Gebers

Last update: Sunday, April 16th, 2017

While the annual sunrise service had all of the traditional elements of an Easter message, this celebration was a bit different than other services.

Dozens of actors put on a live reenactment and told the story of Jesus Christ with the backdrop of an early morning sunrise and the iconic Vasquez Rocks.

“Right when we walked up, we felt like we time traveled,” said Ciera Brennan.

From left to right, Natalee Williams, Ashlyn Kelly, Michael Kelly and other attendees bow their heads in prayer before the Vasquez Rocks Easter Celebration at Vasquez Rocks on Sunday. Samie Gebers/The Signal

This special service was put on by five local churches in the Agua Dulce/Acton area and has developed into a 23-year-old tradition.

“We’ve been coming up here for years,” said Yliana Lucero. “Even though we’ve seen the performance many times before, it just touches us and brightens our day.”

Attendees wake up well before the crack of dawn to be at the rocks before 5 a.m. for the show and service. 

Actors perform in the Vasquez Rocks Easter Sunrise Celebration at Vasquez Rocks on Sunday. Samie Gebers/The Signal

“People come from all over to watch this because it’s different,” Brennan said.

Stan Horst has worked the event and seen its growth over the past 10 years. He explained that he enjoyed seeing scripture come to life and bring people together.

“You can feel a lot of emotion from the performance because everything feels so real,” he said.

“It’s quite a community effort.”

From left to right, Tracey Scott, Tracy Dashnaw, Sally Ives and Warren Atchley watch the Vasquez Rocks Easter Sunrise Celebration as the sun rises on Sunday. Samie Gebers/The Signal
A group of doves fly over Vasquez Rocks after being released at the end of the Vazquez Rocks Easter Sunrise celebration on Sunday. Samie Gebers/The Signal
Performers pass out bread to the audience during the Vazquez Rocks Easter Sunrise Celebration at Vazques Rocks on Sunday. Samie Gebers/The Signal
Actors perform in the Vasquez Rocks Easter Sunrise Celebration at Vasquez Rocks on Sunday. Samie Gebers/The Signal
Actors perform in the Vasquez Rocks Easter Sunrise Celebration at Vasquez Rocks on Sunday. Samie Gebers/The Signal
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Sunrise celebration takes crowd back in time

Actors perform in the Vasquez Rocks Easter Sunrise Celebration at Vasquez Rocks on Sunday. Samie Gebers/The Signal

While the annual sunrise service had all of the traditional elements of an Easter message, this celebration was a bit different than other services.

Dozens of actors put on a live reenactment and told the story of Jesus Christ with the backdrop of an early morning sunrise and the iconic Vasquez Rocks.

“Right when we walked up, we felt like we time traveled,” said Ciera Brennan.

From left to right, Natalee Williams, Ashlyn Kelly, Michael Kelly and other attendees bow their heads in prayer before the Vasquez Rocks Easter Celebration at Vasquez Rocks on Sunday. Samie Gebers/The Signal

This special service was put on by five local churches in the Agua Dulce/Acton area and has developed into a 23-year-old tradition.

“We’ve been coming up here for years,” said Yliana Lucero. “Even though we’ve seen the performance many times before, it just touches us and brightens our day.”

Attendees wake up well before the crack of dawn to be at the rocks before 5 a.m. for the show and service. 

Actors perform in the Vasquez Rocks Easter Sunrise Celebration at Vasquez Rocks on Sunday. Samie Gebers/The Signal

“People come from all over to watch this because it’s different,” Brennan said.

Stan Horst has worked the event and seen its growth over the past 10 years. He explained that he enjoyed seeing scripture come to life and bring people together.

“You can feel a lot of emotion from the performance because everything feels so real,” he said.

“It’s quite a community effort.”

From left to right, Tracey Scott, Tracy Dashnaw, Sally Ives and Warren Atchley watch the Vasquez Rocks Easter Sunrise Celebration as the sun rises on Sunday. Samie Gebers/The Signal
A group of doves fly over Vasquez Rocks after being released at the end of the Vazquez Rocks Easter Sunrise celebration on Sunday. Samie Gebers/The Signal
Performers pass out bread to the audience during the Vazquez Rocks Easter Sunrise Celebration at Vazques Rocks on Sunday. Samie Gebers/The Signal
Actors perform in the Vasquez Rocks Easter Sunrise Celebration at Vasquez Rocks on Sunday. Samie Gebers/The Signal
Actors perform in the Vasquez Rocks Easter Sunrise Celebration at Vasquez Rocks on Sunday. Samie Gebers/The Signal

About the author

Samie Gebers

Samie Gebers

Samie Gebers is currently studying broadcast journalism at College of the Canyons. She reports on the weekends as well as produces video content during the week.

  • lois eisenberg

    EASTER GREETING TO ONE AND ALL !!

  • Anthony Breznican

    Looks like a lovely event. Happy Easter to everyone!