By: George Hakopian
One of the most unique events in our community is the Easter Sunrise Service held upon a mountain top in Tujunga. Since its beginning in the 1920’s, the faithful have trekked up Mt. McGroarty in order to celebrate the most holy of days in the Christian calendar. The cross overlooking our city can be seen throughout the year, but many aren’t aware of this special tradition that happens every year. And as this year will be the 90th celebration of this service, here are some interesting facts about this special tradition right here on our hills.
The Cross of San Ysidro is the name of the cross that sits atop the hill overlooking Sunland-Tujunga and the San Gabriel Mountains. It’s been said that the cross was erected by a group associated with the Catholic church in the early 1920’s, and was dedicated by a Catholic priest.
It was the victim of vandalism in the 70’s days before an Easter service, but was re-erected soon after by members of the Kiwanis Club and the Department of Parks and Recreation.
The title isn’t kidding. The service begins at sunrise. So in order to get there on time, participants have to begin their way up the mountain by 4:30AM. Of course, a main part of the charm of this experience is being able to witness the sunrise upon the city. It definitely keeps true to the the significance of the Easter celebration for all the worshippers there. Don’t worry, you don’t have to get your hiking boots and protein bars ready just yet. There is a shuttle service at the bottom of the hill that will pick participants up and take them up to the cross.
This year’s service, on Sunday, April 5th, has been put together by the Sunland-Tujunga Pastors Association, At The Cross Music Fellowship, and New Hope Community Church. The service will begin roughly around 5:45AM. The shuttle will be available at the corner of Foothill and Hillhaven in Tujunga.