White House rolls into Easter fun


This image was accessed via Google images under the Creative Commons License

Children from all over the country participating in the well-known White House Easter Egg Roll!

As some may know, the White House hosts an Easter Egg Roll right around the time when the Easter Bunny hops into town. 

An Egg Roll is when participants get on their hands and knees and push their eggs with their noses to the finish line. This tradition started in 1878 when President Rutherford B. Hayes opened the South Lawn to children.

Hayes hosted the first White House Egg Roll, while President Richard Nixon was the first president to introduce the Easter Bunny to this festivity, and President Ronald Reagan was the first president to include an egg hunt.

In order to volunteer at this event, at least one training session needs to be completed. On the day of the event, volunteers show up to the event as early as 5 a.m. to set up the first egg hunt while others whip up a breakfast that uses nearly 2,000 eggs. 

Invites are sent out through a lottery to all 50 states; however, a good portion of these invites are sent to military families and public schools in Washington DC, Maryland and Virginia. 

All children under the age of twelve get a souvenir wooden egg with stamped signatures from the President and First Lady, but up to 80,000 extra wooden eggs are made for the gift shop. In total, roughly 18,500 eggs are used for dying and the egg hunt. The White House even hosts a hunt for visually impaired children using eggs called “Chirping Eggs.’’ 

The fun only continues with the Rockin’ Egg Roll Stage where performers like Fifth Harmony, MKTO, Austin Mahone and The Wanted have all sung the National Anthem. Later on, on the Storytime Stage, Easter-themed books are read to children; some years, Elmo and his friends have read stories to the children.

Although the Easter Egg Roll was canceled for a second year due to COVID-19, some online fun is still available at https://www.whitehousehistory.org/white-house-easter-egg-roll-virtual-activities!

Let’s hope that by 2022, the Egg Roll and Hunt will come back! For now, Hoppy Easter to all and to all a good break!