A tradition that's decades old is continuing this Sunday at Natural Bridge. Easter Sunrise Service is expected to draw a big crowd on Sunday.
Old black and white reel to reel video shows an Easter sunrise service shot more than 50 years ago at Natural Bridge.
“As a young man we came to sunrise service several times. It's very powerful and I remember large crowds. I remember an incredible scene of relevance amongst the crowd which was multigenerational,” said Rockbridge County native Tom Camden.
It's a crowd some say reached past 20,000 in the 60's. In the past the services were shown all over the country. Those who work at Natural Bridge say the service draws people from all walks of life.
“As it relates to the whole concept of God; nature, the natural bridge is a sacred shrine,” said Interpretive Programming Director Dean Ferguson.
It's a shrine to some and a natural wonder to others who walk underneath its arch.
“I think it's the connection to nature, I really do think that this arch carved by nature, referred as being carved by the hand of God is a very sacred space,” said Tom Camden.
It's a space that has been said to bridge all kinds of people together into harmony.
“For many people the bridge with the sunrise coming up of course reflects upon the religious nature of the resurrection of the Christ,” said Dean Ferguson.
Gates at Natural Bridge open at 6:30 a.m. and service begins at 7. It's free to the public.