Mainers celebrated Easter Sunday by going to church, gathering with their families or maybe stepping out for dinner to give mother the day off.

And in Aroostook County, where the sun shone, some people were peeling down to their T-shirts to take advantage of the weather, said Steve Graham, owner of Grammy’s Country Inn in Linneus.

“Anything in the 40s is good for T-shirts,” said Graham as the last few customers finished up their Easter meals.

Restaurants were busy throughout the state Sunday as families gave the cook of the house the day off and stepped out to eat.

“I think we’ve come to an era where both parents work all week long, and just don’t have the time” to cook when the weekend arrives, said Susan LaGueux, manager of the Bull and Claw Restaurant in Wells, which was having one of its busiest days of the year.

The day started off sunny as a band of skiers headed up Barker Mountain for Sunday River’s ecumenical sunrise Easter ceremony, the Newry resort’s spokeswoman Susan DuPlessis said. The annual observance usually draws about 75 worshippers, who ride lifts to the top of the mountain and ski down.

Off the ski mountains, temperatures were also little less than spring-like in southern and western portions of the state, where a cloud cover left highs reaching for the high 40s or low 50s.

Bright sunshine warmed the air Down East and in northern sections. The National Weather Service said it would remain partly cloudy into Monday.

, and rain could arrive Monday evening.

As Christians marked Sunday’s holy day, Pope John Paul II called for world leaders to resolve conflicts in Iraq, the Middle East and Africa. From the Vatican, the pope also prayed that hope will conquer terrorism.

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