SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Thousands of people packed the Santa Barbara Courthouse Sunken Gardens to celebrate Easter Sunday.
It's part of an annual service put on by The Calvary Chapel of Santa Barbara. This year's theme: "I AM Loved."
This year the crowd basked in the sunshine and favorable weather. Pastor David Guzik said, "Last year, we soldiered through the rain, but its so much better to do it when its sunny like today."
Organizers say the crowd grows each year. This year, they set up 4,000 chairs to accommodate the community. By the time the service started, all of the chairs were full. An estimated 4 to 5 thousand people attended Sunday's service. Guzik said, "We're so happy that people gathered together to remember and celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ. That's what this is all about." Santa Barbara resident Alex Pineda said, "I have come here every year. It's beautiful to see all the families get together and enjoy church."
Organizers also blocked off part of Santa Barbara Street so kids could share in the celebration. Guzik said, "We have an extensive children's ministry for kids of all ages. They have their own games, their own crafts, their own songs, their own message. It is sort of the highlight of Easter for many of those kids."