Red Rocks Closed Not Just to Easter Service, but All Activity

Nathan Thrift
Waiting for the sunrise on Easter 2018.
For more than seven decades, Red Rocks Park and Amphitheatre has been the site of an Easter Sunrise Service. But owing to concerns about the coronavirus, this year's Easter event will be a virtual gathering, pre-recorded and available at dawn, April 12, on the website of the Colorado Council of Churches, a statewide ecumenical and social-justice organization that represents thirteen Christian denominations and over 800 churches across Colorado.

Except for one or two services that were snowed out, Red Rocks has hosted this service for over seventy years, and it's attracted thousands of people of all religious persuasions...or none at all.

Delivering this year's Easter message will be scholar-activist Reverend Dr. Miguel De La Torre, an ordained Southern Baptist preacher, professor of Social Ethics and Latinx Studies at the Iliff School of Theology, internationally known speaker...and a slam poet.

He'll be joined by Reverend Dr. Scott Schiesswohl, pastor of St. James United Methodist Church in Central City; Reverend Olivia Hudson Smith, Stated Clerk of the Presbytery of Denver; and musical worship leaders Lucie Cardwell, Stephanie Garvey and Father Michael Nicosia, Vicar to the Rocky Mountain Region of the Ecumenical Catholic Communion.

The Council of Churches announced the virtual service earlier this week, and that's not the only change at Red Rocks.  A tweet sent out on April 10 by the Denver Department of Parks and Recreation announced that both the park and the amphitheater were closing at 6 p.m. that day "until further notice to limit the spread of COVID-19."  The parking lots are closed off, and officials are sending anyone they spot away with a warning, which could grow to a $999 fine.

Even when there's not a concert or service there, Red Rocks has been a popular spot to hike the trails, exercise on the stairs or just enjoy the view.

But for now, Red Rocks is off everyone.

See our slideshow of Easter Sunrise Service 2018 at Red Rocks here.