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Tampa Bay Churches Have Easter Festivities For First Time In Two Years

TAMPA, Fla. (CW44 News At 10) - This weekend, many churches are having Easter celebrations for the first time in over two years.

At City on a Hill Church, the lead pastor says this year they are going all out to make up for the limited Easters over the last two years, with interactive activities like puzzles, coloring books, and even an Easter passport.

"Easter's all about Jesus, it's always been about Jesus and it's always going to be about Jesus, and I believe Jesus would love an Easter egg hunt," said lead pastor at City on a Hill Church in St. Petersburg, Mike Conaway.

That's exactly what lead pastor at City on a Hill Church in St. Petersburg, Mike Conaway plans to do.

"We had 80 volunteers show up on Monday and it took us about two hours and 15 minutes to stuff 10,000 Easter eggs." said Conaway.

It's all part of a weekend long celebration for the resurrection of Jesus.

"Saturday, this campus will be alive with a free spring festival with 10,000 Easter eggs, there will be inflatable, and of course the star of the show, the Easter bunny," said Conaway.

He says this is the first eater in over two years that he's able to have an Easter celebration this big.

"In 2020 we actually had a drive through egg hunt." said Conaway.

In 2021 he says everyone had to wear masks, be socially distant, and there were no interactive activities for children or adults. Another pastor for radiant church in Tampa, Aaron Burke, says the last two years have also been very different.

"We were about 50% capacity to the two years before that which was great because we were way more than the year before that which was nobody in attendance," said Burke.

He says last year, radiant churches all over the Tampa Bay Area had a total of 12 services over easter weekend, and this year, they're having 24.

"People go 'Well I can watch it online.' You've done that for a few years, it's not good for you. You need to be in the room," said Burke.

Conaway says it'll be nice to have the community together again this Easter.

"Watching people hug again and high five. It's just, there's nothing like it," said Conaway.

Church pastors all over the Tampa Bay Area say they hope they can continue having huge Easter celebrations like this one for years to come.

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