Health & Safety During Your Visit

More Navigation

Back to Press Releases

Lake Junaluska to host 5K, egg hunts, sunrise service for Easter


Lake Junaluska has a full schedule set for Easter weekend, including a 5K run, children’s Easter egg hunt, sunrise service overlooking the lake and buffet lunch. Everyone is invited to attend the events.

Friends of the Lake 5K

Easter weekend at Lake Junaluska begins with the Friends of the Lake 5K Road Race, Walk and Fun Run on Saturday, April 20. The event, which is in its 12th year, is a way for the community to support the Lake Junaluska Walking Trail, one of the most popular privately owned recreation areas in Western North Carolina. The Friends of the Lake 5K invites participants of all ages and abilities. Registration begins at 7:30 a.m., and the race starts at 9 a.m. A fun run with the Easter bunny will take place at 9:45 a.m.

The 5K route begins at the Nanci Weldon Memorial Gym and follows a scenic loop around Lake Junaluska, providing runners fantastic views during the race.

Registration is $30 for adults, $18 for students and the fun run for ages 10 and under is free. Those who register by Friday, April 5, receive a free T-shirt and a discounted registration rate of $25. To register, visit

Easter Egg Hunt

Following the Friends of the Lake 5K, Lake Junaluska will host a children’s Easter egg hunt near Stuart Auditorium beginning at 11:30 a.m. The egg hunt, which features over 10,000 eggs, is for kids ages 1-12. Parents should bring bags or baskets for their children to use. Food and drinks will be available for purchase during the egg hunt. This event is free and no registration is required.

“Families from across Haywood County stream in for the Easter egg hunt,” said the Rev. Mitzi Johnson, director of programming at Lake Junaluska. “Seeing grandparents, parents and children interact with such joy along the lakeshore makes the day a highlight of our spring season.”

New this year is an 11:45 a.m. egg hunt for children with special needs related to autism, vision impairment and limited mobility. Participants must pre-register at and space is limited. Johnson said she had received several requests to add this new offering, and when occupational therapist Stephanie Schulz offered to help design the hunt especially for the enrolled children, everything fell into place.

“We know that some children want to collect eggs but may need to move at a slower, more thoughtful pace to enjoy the experience,” said Johnson. “We’re thrilled to pilot this inclusive option where more children can participate in a rite of passage many of us take for granted.”

Sunrise Service

On Easter morning, a powerful sunrise service will take place at 7 a.m. at the outdoor amphitheater below the Lake Junaluska Cross. Dean of Memorial Chapel Susan Slye Giles will serve as liturgist and the Rev. Carl H. King will preach. King is the associate director of development at Duke Divinity School, and formerly served as the lead pastor at University United Methodist Church in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. King is the son of former Lake Junaluska residents and grew up spending summers at Lake Junaluska.

“King has a love for Lake Junaluska, the outdoors and for proclaiming the Christian story,” said Johnson. “When all these passions collide with sunrise, a breathtaking view of the lake and the hope of Christ’s resurrection, one can’t help but sing ‘Alleluia!’ Last year, even one of our resident bald eagles attended the service!”

A breakfast buffet is available at Lambuth Inn following the service. Tickets are available at the front desk of Lambuth Inn that morning for $10.

Easter Lunch Buffet

Easter events wrap up with an Easter lunch buffet in The Terrace dining room. A sumptuous feast including family favorites will run from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on April 21. Reservations are requested.

To learn more about the Easter activities at Lake Junaluska, visit

Lake Junaluska is a place of Christian hospitality where lives are transformed through renewal of soul, mind and body. For more information about Lake Junaluska programs and events, visit




Saturday, April 20

Friends of the Lake 5K Road Race, Walk and Kids Fun Run

7:30-8:30 a.m. - On-site registration

9 a.m. - Friends of the Lake 5K Road Race*

9:05 a.m. - 5K Walk*

9:45 a.m. - Children's Fun Run

*Registration required. Visit or stop into the Bethea Welcome Center. Day-of registration is also available.

Children’s Easter Egg Hunts

Hunts will take place near Stuart Auditorium.

11:30 a.m. - Ages 1-3

11:35 a.m. - Ages 4-7

11:40 a.m. - Ages 8-12

11:45 a.m. - Children ages 4-12 with special needs related to autism, vision impairment or limited mobility. Pre-registration is required and space is limited. Register online at


Sunday, April 21

Easter Sunrise Service 

7 a.m. at the amphitheater at the Lake Junaluska Cross 

Weather permitting. Rain location is Memorial Chapel.


Easter Breakfast Buffet at Lambuth Inn

7:30-9 a.m.

Tickets will be on sale at the Lambuth Inn front desk on Sunday morning. $10.


Long’s Chapel United Methodist Church Easter Service

10:25 a.m. at Stuart Auditorium.


Easter Lunch Buffet at The Terrace

11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m.

Reservations are requested. Call 828-454-6662 to make a reservation.



Mary Bates
Lake Junaluska
PO Box 67, Lake Junaluska, NC 28745