The meaning behind the celebration of Easter makes the holiday the center of belief for Christians who base their faith on the payment of sins by Christ, his death, burial and resurrection.
Many churches in the valley have special and traditional events marking Palm Sunday which was April 14 this year and Maundy Thursday, Holy Thursday, or Great Thursday with the last supper and the betrayal of Christ.
Friday or Good Friday, April 19 this year, is the day Christians remember the suffering of Christ on the cross as he was tried and crucified. They believe it was "payment in full" for their sins. Often this is a day of fasting, prayer, meditation and confession as the waiting begins for the holiday commemorating his resurrection three days later — Easter Sunday.
Everyone celebrates the week of Easter differently with everything from a variety of church services to eggs hunts to family gatherings and spring.
The Christian Veterans of the Bitterroot is hosting a “March for Jesus Christ” on Saturday, April 20.
Churches, organizations, families and individuals are invited to carry The Cross for a segment of the walking/bike path along Highway 93. The march goes from north to south this year beginning at 6:45 a.m. at the Set Free Christian Fellowship Church in Lolo and continues south ending at Anglers Roost about 7:45 p.m.
Eggs are traditionally dyed to Easter and symbolize the tomb from which Christ arose, new life, eternal life and spring. Easter Eggs hunts are a fun game for children.
There are many egg hunts in each community in the valley this year on Saturday, April 20.
At 10 a.m., people will gather in the football grandstands at the Corvallis Community Events Center to hear a brief gospel presentation by Corvallis Community Church. The ensuing egg hung is divided by ages and is for children ages 2-10. Great fun and prizes.
Florence Therapy and Wellness is hosting their annual Easter egg hunt at 10 a.m. at Hideout Mountain Park on Florence-Carlton Loop. Children up to age 12, divided into four age groups, will hunt for eggs and prizes. Bring a camera to take photos of children with the Easter Bunny.
The Ravalli County Airport will host their egg hunt sponsored by the Ravalli County Pilot’s Association and local businesses, 11 a.m., rain or shine. Areas will be marked for three age groups: 4 and under, 5-9 and 10-12. Plastic eggs will be stuffed with candy, gift certificates and small toys will also be in the mix.
The Easter Bunny will come by plane. Plenty of parking is available but come early. Eggs will be collected for recycling for next year.
For Stevensville residents, the annual egg hunt will be held at 11 a.m. in the Lewis and Clark Park.
In Victor, the Victor Emergency Medical Service (EMS) personnel are hosting an egg hunt at 1 p.m. in Victor Park.
The Hamilton Assembly of God Church will host "More Than An Easter Egg Hunt" on the Daly Mansion lawn at 251 Eastside Highway. Kids will have the opportunity to hear the Easter story told by actors representing Biblical characters. Then there will be a huge egg hunt for ages 0–10 with candy and prize-filled eggs for age appropriate groups. All are welcome.
Darby residents should head to the Logger Day arena where Exit Realty is hosting an egg hunt from 3–4 p.m. with eggs, prizes and a petting zoo.
On Easter Sunday, at 1 p.m. the Hamilton Eagles Lodge is having a massive egg hunt at the Ravalli County Fairgrounds. The hunting will be divided into different age groups and there will be candy and great prizes for kids.
Check with organizations and churches in your area for more events and special church service times.