The annual sunrise service begins at approximately 6:15 a.m. on Sunday, April 4, 2010. Participants should plan for at least 45 minutes to walk to the top.
No food or water is provided but portable toilets will be available.
Motorized transportation to the top for the elderly and disabled cannot be guaranteed. Arrive at the gate at Ninth Street and Mount Rubidoux Drive at least an hour before sunrise, preferably even earlier.
Rallys for Christ, a Montclair evangelical outreach ministry, led the service for the past few years, and Christian radio station KSGN-FM organized the event for some of the years before that. Last year, for the 100th anniversary of the service, the city invited Riverside churches, that were around in 1909, to the service. The five churches that took part last year are organizing this year’s service.
The participating congregations are First Congregational Church, First Baptist Church, First United Methodist Church and the Universalist Unitarian Church. Calvary Presbyterian Church will not have a representative Sunday, but the church is helping organize the event, said the Rev. Jane Quandt, of First Congregational. The Catholic Diocese of San Bernardino is sending a representative, and Mayor Ron Loveridge is expected to speak.
On April 11, 1909, Mission Inn founder, Frank Miller, and about 100 other people made their way to the summit of Mount Rubidoux and celebrated Easter at sunrise. Riversiders and others have been doing it almost every year since. This year, 2010, marks the 101st anniversary!
Each year after 1909, the service grew more grandiose and drew larger crowds — 10,000 in 1915. International famous opera singer and Riverside native, Marcella Craft, performed as a soloist that year and the next. The crowd count reached 20,000 or more in 1922, 1925 and 1926, according to “The Story of Mount Rubidoux”, by DeWitt Hutchings, Frank Miller’s son-in-law.
HAPPY EASTER to everyone, including our military service men and women!