The production of Handel’s Messiah is an Eastertime institution at Bethany College in Lindsborg. But this year will see “a radically new” twist to the 132-year-old tradition on Easter Sunday: African-American spirituals sung by four guest soloists from the nationally acclaimed American Spiritual Ensemble, following the story arc of “The Messiah.”
This will be the first performance of “A Spiritual Messiah” by the classically trained vocalists, who travel the world to teach and perform African-American spirituals, said Blakely Bunning, coordinator of the Messiah Festival of the Arts in Lindsborg. A representative of the American Spiritual Ensemble approached the festival last year asking to be a part, and a program developed for Easter Sunday is the result, Bunning said.
Handel’s Messiah was performed in Lindsborg as usual on Palm Sunday. Normally the performance is repeated on Easter Sunday.
“A Spiritual Messiah” will be at 3 p.m. Sunday at Presser Hall on the Bethany campus, 335 E. Swensson St. Tickets are $17 and $22; call 785-227-3311, ext. 8137, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday, or order online at messiahfestival.org.
The festival also includes Bach’s “Passion According to St. Matthew” performed by the Bethany Oratorio Society at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Presser Hall. Tickets are $12 and $17.
Easter weekend also brings other special events to the Wichita area:• Children are encouraged to bring their Easter baskets to the Sedgwick County Zoo, 5555 Zoo Blvd., on Saturday, where kids can gather treats — and watch zoo animals receive their own — as well as visit the Easter bunny, go on a scavenger hunt, play games and get their faces painted. Special-needs kids can register for a special event at 1 p.m., and visually impaired children for beeper eggs at 2 p.m. The day runs from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. and is included in zoo membership or admission, $13.70 for adults, $11.70 for seniors and $8.70 for children ages 3 to 11. For the full schedule of events, go to the website scz.org and click on Easter Eggstravaganza.
• The Easter bunny also will be at Botanica on Saturday for the Tulips, Fairies & Friends event. Hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. A fairy-inspired egg hunt will start at 10 a.m., the MGM Fairy Dancers will teach and perform fairy dances, and there will be a tulip scavenger hunt. Admission is $7 for adults and $5 for children ages 3 to 12.
• Bartlett Arboretum in Belle Plaine will be open Sunday for two events: an ecumenical sunrise Easter service, free and open to the public, at 7 a.m., and vintage jazz by Nouveau Quintet from 2 to 5 p.m. Luciano’s will have Italian cuisine available for sale in the afternoon. The concert is $5 at the gate.
Some other Easter-related events:
Live Carillon Concert, noon Fri., Wichita-Sedgwick County Historical Museum, 204 S. Main. Free. Easter concert. Information, 316-265-9314 or www.wichitahistory.org.
Easter Sun Run, 8:30 a.m., Sunflower Shelter, Sedgwick County Park, 6501 W. 21st St. Advance registration $30, $20 ages 12 and younger, or at the door for $40, $30 ages 12 and younger. Benefit for Youth Horizons. 10k, 2-mile run and walk. Information and registration, eastersunrun.com.
Easter Egg Hunt, 9 and 11 a.m., All Star Sports, 8333 W. 21st St., $3 donation per child to benefit the American Diabetes Association. Arrive early for hunt registration. Bring your own basket. Special 9 a.m.-2 p.m. unlimited go-karts, climbing wall, bumper boats, laser tag and mini golf for $15 or $10 for ages 12 and younger. Information, www.allstarwichita.com.
Easter Egg Hunt, 9:30 a.m., The Arc of Sedgwick County, 2919 W. Second St. Free, for children ages 12 and under with special needs and their siblings. Sponsored by the Wichita East and Southeast Lions Clubs. Reservations requested, 316-943-1191. Information, www.arc-sedgwickcounty.org.
Eggstravaganza, 10-11 a.m., Asbury Church, 2801 W. 15th St. Free. Candy, prizes, egg hunt. Information, 316-942-1491 or asburychurch.org.
Bethany Lutheran Children’s Easter Egg Hunt, 10-11:30 a.m., Bethany Lutheran Church, 1000 W. 26th St. South. Free, kids and up. Basket giveaway, cookie decorating, crafts, singing, puppet show. Information, 316-265-7415.
Children’s Easter Party and Egg Hunt, 10 a.m.-noon, East Heights United Methodist Church, 4407 E. Douglas. Free. Interactive Easter story for families. Egg hunt, bounce house, petting zoo, cookies, prizes, crafts, coloring. Information, www.ehumc.org.
Easter Bunny at Anne’s Attic, 10 a.m.-noon, Anne’s Attic, 205 S. Meridian, Valley Center. Free. Bring your camera and meet the Easter Bunny. Information, 316-755-3599.
Easter Egg Hunt 2013, 10 a.m.-1:30 p.m., Oatville Community Church, 3814 S. Hoover. Free, all ages. Egg hunt, games (10-11 a.m.), story of Easter (11-11:30 a.m.), lunch (12:30-1:15 p.m.). Information, 316-258-1791 or www.oatvillecommunitychurch.com.
Woodland’s Annual Easter Egg Hunt, 10-11:30 a.m., Woodland United Methodist Church, 1100 W. 15th St. Free, for grades three and younger. Decorate and hunt for eggs, story, snack, plant a flower. Information, 316-265-6669.
Ark Church Easter Egg Hunt, 11 a.m.-3 p.m., Ark Church, 5501 N. Maize Road. $1. Egg hunts, prizes, concessions, games. Information and registration, www.generationskids.com.
2013 Easter Extravaganza, 1-7 p.m., Century II Exhibition Hall, 225 W. Douglas. $10, ages 2 and younger free. Inflatables, rock climbing, mechanical rides, face painting. Benefit for Joyland Restoration Project. Information, email@example.com.
Easter Eggstravaganza, 2-4 p.m., Faith Christian Church, 2110 W. 45th St. South. Free. Easter bunny, egg hunts, carnival games, prizes, crafts and refreshments. Information, faith4u.org.
3rd Annual Easter Egg Hunt, 2 p.m., The Alley Indoor Entertainment, 11413 E. 13th St. Free, ages 1-12. More than 5,000 candy-, prize- and toy-filled eggs for outdoor egg hunt. Information, 316-618-1000 or www.thealleyonline.com.
Asbury West Eggstravaganza, 9:30 a.m., Explorer Elementary School, 454 S. 167th St. West, Goddard. Free. Brunch, worship and egg hunt for children birth-fifth grade. Information, 316-942-1491 or asburychurch.org.
Easter Egg Hunt, 10:35 a.m., Aldersgate United Methodist Church, 7901 W. 21st St. Free, kids and up. Information, www.aldersgatechurch.org/holyweek.
Easter Egg Hunt, 2 p.m., All Star Adventures, 1010 N. Webb. $3 donation per child; proceeds benefit For the Love of Chance. Bring your own basket. Photos with the Easter Bunny. Door prizes. Special noon-6 p.m. unlimited mini golf, go-kart and amusement rides for $16, $12 for those 48 inches and shorter. Information, 316-682-3700 or www.allstarwichita.com.
Contributing: Lori O’Toole Buselt of The Eagle