HOISINGTON — St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church in Hoisington has found a new way to celebrate Christ’s Resurrection this Easter. With social distancing in place, the parish’s float from the 2019 Labor Day Parade – a replica of the historic church building – will travel around town on Sunday morning, said member Doug Axman.
Paul Axman, Doug’s father, spent about 18 months building the hand-painted wooden replica of the steepled church. Built to last, it was also featured in Great Bend’s Home for the Holidays Parade last November. Paul will again be driving his restored 1931 Model A truck as the float travels the streets of Hoisington this Sunday, going by or near all of the community’s churches, activity center, grocery store and Country Place Senior Living. There will be Easter hymns playing on the float and Father Anselm Eke, pastor of St. John’s Church, will be riding in the back. Organizers ask everyone to come together while maintaining social distancing requirements.
Weather permitting, the float will start its route near the church at 5th and Main around 9 a.m. Based on the positive feedback he’s received from the community, Doug Axman said they may drive the route two or three times. “We’re very humbled by the response,” he said.
This won’t be like the parades the float has seen to date, he noted. No one will be tossing out candy and people won’t be bunched together along the way. There won’t be a lot of vehicles and other floats in line.
“It will give people a few minutes to have a remembrance of what Easter is all about.”
Even though the Catholic church building will be featured, Axman said this felt like a way to touch all of the Christian churches in the community — without physically touching, needless to say. He’s heard from other pastors, most planning their own ways to share their Easter messages without mass gatherings, and the response has been positive.
“Even though we can’t all get together, we can celebrate and pray for everybody and pray for our nation in this time of need.”