STONE MOUNTAIN, Ga -- A tradition of more than 70 years continued on Easter Sunday morning, as thousands of people attended sunrise services at Stone Mountain.

Two non-denominational services were held at 7 am, one on the mountaintop and the other at the base.

The event began in 1944, before the land around Stone Mountain was officially owned by the state of Georgia. Lucille A. Lanford, from Stone Mountain First United Methodist Church, suggested that the church’s youth group climb to the top of Stone Mountain on Easter morning to watch the sunrise.

The event grew from that one youth group to thousands ascending the mountain every Easter since.

The event is produced by The Stone Mountain Sunrise Association.