March 31, 2024
It’s tough to inspire people to get out of bed in the dark of night, but those who have witnessed the sun rising over Hickory Nut Gorge and Lake Lure know that Chimney Rock’s Easter Sunrise Service is the place to be on Easter Sunday.
For over 60 years, the Park has opened its gates to the community for inter-denominational worship filled with scripture, song, and fellowship. The service takes place beneath 535-million-year-old Chimney Rock, the monolith for which the Park is named. Gates will be open from 5-6 AM for the 6:30 AM service. There is no admission charge.
Easter Sunrise Service began as a small community gathering of residents and local pastors celebrating together the glory of Easter. In recent years, the ceremony has grown to more than 1,000 people from around the Southeast. Organized by ministers from area churches, this special service includes scripture readings, prayer, and beautiful music by the Park’s featured entertainer, hammered dulcimer player John Mason, amongst others.
“The Easter Sunrise Service is truly a community event. The churches in Hickory Nut Gorge, in partnership with the Park, have collaborated for decades to host this special holiday service,” says General Manager Mary Jaeger-Gale. “It is one of the few times each year that residents and guests can see the sun rise over Lake Lure from high atop Chimney Rock Mountain. It has become a tradition for many families in the area,” she adds.
In case of rain, the service will be held in the Park Meadows. Attendees should arrive early, dress warmly, and bring a flashlight.
The Park’s Old Rock Café in the village of Chimney Rock will feature a traditional Southern breakfast buffet following the ceremony. Sunrise Service guests who present their Easter bulletin at the Ticket Plaza can return to the Park at no admission for the day.
Chimney Rock is located 25 miles southeast of Asheville in Hickory Nut Gorge on Highway 64/74-A. The Park is the focal point of the developing Chimney Rock State Park.