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Despite biting cold rain, close to 30,000 ticketed guests descended upon the South Lawn of the White House for the annual Easter Egg Roll on April 18, 2022. The beloved tradition was canceled for the past two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The fun event featured a variety of Easter-themed activities, along with appearances by popular costumed characters and celebrities.
“This year, we’re finally getting together again, and it’s so special,” a beaming Mr. Biden said from the White House balcony. “It means so much to see and hear the children and all the families show up to be here today.”
The day-long event was broken down into five sessions to accommodate the large number of guests, who were randomly selected from an online lottery. The fun began at about 7:30 am EST, when the first group of children scrambled to find some of the nearly 50,000 colorful eggs scattered around the South Lawn gardens. They then awaited the president's whistle to roll their newly-found treasures down the soggy marked lanes with their long spoons.
Following the egg roll, families explored the various fun activities organized for the day. This year's theme, "EGGucation," created by First Lady Dr. Jill Biden, transformed the South Lawn into a school community full of fun educational activities. They included a "cafetorium" for making and sampling snacks and a schoolhouse offering fun tasks like Easter egg dyeing. A reading nook allowed educators, authors, and surprise guests — like Dr. Biden — to read aloud popular children's books to a rapt young audience.
Young guests could also embark on a "field trip" to a farm or showcase an “egg-citing”’ act or performance at the talent show station. Those looking for more activity made their way to the physical "EGGucation" zone to try their luck at the obstacle course. Military bands, giant costumed Minions, Sesame Street characters, and other beloved kid personalities added to the festivities.
In the early 1870s, the Easter Egg Roll was held on the west grounds of the U.S. Capitol. However, in 1876, US lawmakers, concerned about the damage to the perfectly-terraced lawn, passed a law prohibiting the public use of the Capitol grounds for egg rolls. In 1878, President Rutherford B. Hayes opened the White House's South Lawn — previously reserved for the First Family’s private Easter activities — to egg rollers, and a new, fun tradition was born.
Resources: Whitehouse.gov, Ksla.com, Whitehousehistory.org, usatoday.com, nypost.ocm