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Thousands To Attend ‘Easter At The Bowl’

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(credit: cgkinla)

(credit: cgkinla)

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LOS ANGELES (CBS) — More than 10,000 worshippers are expected to attend a non-denominational Easter Sunday service at the Hollywood Bowl.

The service, which has been organized by the Bel Air Presbyterian Church, is scheduled to begin at 11 a.m. and will include the church choir, its Modern Worship Band and a professional orchestra.

Bel-Air Presbyterian, founded in 1956, is one of the larger churches in the city and draws about 2,500 people each Sunday. Former President Reagan and wife Nancy attended the Mulholland Drive church after leaving Washington, D.C.

For more information about the service, visit the Church’s Web site. Gates open at 9 a.m. and admission is free.

The Bowl’s long standing tradition of hosting a sunrise service on Easter Sunday was brought to a halt last year. In past years, the nondenominational extravaganza drew about 15,000 people but attendance dropped in its final years.

Though the sunrise service at the bowl dates back to 1919, it has not been continuous. In the 1990s, there was a five-year hiatus when the amphitheater was being renovated.

Meantime, 92-year-old Father Maurice Chase, known as “Father Dollar Bill” plans to continue his Easter tradition of handing out cash to those on Skid Row.

Chase plans to be in front of the Salvation Army shelter and said he will distribute $20,000.

Elsewhere, actor Dick Van Dyke will be among the hundreds of volunteers serving brunch to thousands of homeless men, women and children at the Midnight Mission. Food bags and donated clothing will also be given out.

(©2011 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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