WASHINGTON (AP) — Undaunted by soggy skies, President Joe Biden and his wife, Jill, kicked off the first White House Easter Egg Roll since before the coronavirus pandemic on Monday, welcoming some 30,000 kids and adults for the all-day event.
The president encouraged one young egg-roller, coaching the child, “Go. You got it.”
“My job is to keep it from raining for another two minutes,” he said in opening remarks on the South Lawn.
The theme for the day was “egg-ucation.” The first lady, a community college professor, turned the South Lawn into a school community with a variety of educational stations.
“The determined spirit of education is what we wanted to honor in this Easter Egg Roll,” she said in brief welcoming remarks.
Besides the egg roll and an egg hunt, the event included a schoolhouse activity area, a reading nook, a talent show, a place to teach about farming, a photo-taking station, a physical “egg-ucation” zone with an obstacle course, and a “cafetorium” where children learned to make treats.
The COVID-19 pandemic led the White House to cancel the Easter Egg Roll in 2020 and 2021. But the event is back this year, as the outbreak of coronavirus cases, hospitalizations and deaths has eased.
“This year we’re finally getting together again, and it’s so special,” the president told the guests.
“Tonight Show” host Jimmy Fallon, singer Ciara and actor-singer Kristin Chenoweth were set to add a dash of celebrity splash to the “egg-stravaganza.”
More than two dozen costumed characters were on hand, including Dr. Seuss’ The Cat in the Hat, the Racing Presidents mascots for the Washington Nationals of Major League Baseball, Rosita and Cookie Monster from “Sesame Street” and Snoopy and Charlie Brown, among others.
The event kicked off at around 7 a.m., with the first of five waves of people, including kids wearing their Easter best, streaming through the White House gates.
The White House Easter Egg Roll dates to 1878.