Gov. Baldacci spent time Saturday hosting an egg hunt at the Blaine House.

AUGUSTA (AP) – Mainers celebrated Easter Sunday with visits to church to observe the holiest of Christian holidays, family gatherings after services, and a with touch of tradition.

For many Mainers, Monday will be a day off due to the Patriots Day holiday marked only in their state and Massachusetts. And some Mainers who work for state government are getting an unpaid day off Tuesday, the third and final shutdown day meant to save money in this year’s state budget.

Sunday dawned with a brilliant glow as dozens of outdoors-minded worshippers turned out for the annual sunrise service at western Maine’s Sugarloaf Mountain.

The weather was mild and snow softened after a day of mild temperatures across much of the state as the non-denominational service was held at the top of the Narrow Gauge trail.

“It was a beautiful morning to be up there,” said Sugarloaf spokesman Bill Swain. The sunrise service, followed by an Easter egg hunt and costume parade at the base lodge, marked the end of the ski season at the Carrabassett Valley resort.

In the state capital, Gov. John Baldacci took time out from his formal duties to host an Easter egg hunt on the Blaine House lawn Saturday, which started the weekend on a surprisingly balmy and sunny note.

The weather remained spring-like and in the 60s across much of Maine on Sunday, with sunny or partly sunny skies shining over much of the state.

The National Weather Service said the good weather is expected to hold into Monday before it begins to cloud up toward the end of the day and rain showers arrive for the middle of the week, which is also a school vacation week across Maine.

Patriots Day is as well known to many for the Boston Marathon that’s traditionally run that day to its true purpose: To mark the start of the Revolutionary War.

Maine-resident runners were headed south by the score to participate in Monday’s 107th Boston Marathon. Among them was Emily LeVan of Wiscasset, a nursing student at the University of Southern Maine.

The 30-year-old LeVan, who won last fall’s Maine Marathon with a time of 2:47:38, hopes to cover the 26-mile course Monday somewhere close to the 2:35:12 it took Mainer Joan Benoit Samuelson to complete the Boston Marathon when she set a course record for women with her win in 1979.


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