Perhaps the largest Eater celebration in the Las Vegas Valley, The Christian Hope Project Easter Festival was quite an experience this weekend. Between a couple dozen inflatable bounce houses/mazes, a few carnival rides, and Easter egg hunts every fifteen minutes this was the place to be.
The event was held at the Craig Ranch Park near Craig Road and the I-15 Freeway. The venue itself was rather impressive on its own. The park is immense and has everything from tennis courts to rock walls and swinging hammocks. The park also offered plenty of parking for a large event like this. They had a pay lot for those that didn’t want to hunt for a free spot, but even during the peak hours finding a spot was not difficult.
The attractions that were advertised did not disappoint. There were more bounce houses than could easily be counted and not really any waits worth mention. There were lines to get on the small Ferris wheel and car carousel, however. A massive rock climbing pyramid stood out immediately upon entry that looked like a ton of fun.
Everything at the festival, from the egg hunts to the rides and games, was completely free of charge. The only thing that attendees had to pay for was the food, which was reasonably priced for a fair. If anyone felt inclined to give something back, donations were accepted but not mandatory and were not pushed for.
There was a religious overtone to the event, but it was not invasive. The entire festival was free, but in order to participate in the egg hunts children had to have a wristband. Wristbands were given away at a tent where the volunteer would briefly go over the basic tenants of the organization’s beliefs and meaning of Easter. It is perfectly fair that they would ask guests to learn about who they are since this was a free festival put on by them, but if you would prefer a purely secular egg hunt this is probably not the best option.
The Christian Hope Project is a non-profit organization formed by police officers to both help the community as well as to spread the gospel. There were a good many members of our local police force present for the event, presumably formed of officers that are part of the organization. They do not elaborate on their specific beliefs, but going by the Our Beliefs section of their website they seem to be either of the Calvinist or Lutheran theological tradition. They do not appear to be affiliate with a specific church, however, and seem to be vague on purpose so as to be more of a general Christian group verses being limited to a specific denomination only.
The only down side to the festival was the wind and dust in the air. Unfortunately we had high winds the day of the event. Luckily the Craig Ranch Park did not have too much loose dirt to blow about, so it was not too bad inside the park and at least it was a cool day out. Everyone that came seemed to have a great time and the kids certainly did not seem to notice the wind.
The Christian Hope Project Easter Festival is held annually and will most likely return next year, although the location may vary. If you would like to visit the Craig Ranch Park it is located at 628 W Craig Rd, North Las Vegas, NV 89032 and is open daily from 6 a.m to 11 p.m. Check out cityofnorthlasvegas.com for more info on the park, and christianhopeproject.org for more on the organization.