President Rutherford B. Hayes officially opened up the White House grounds to local children for egg rolling on the Monday after Easter Sunday in 1878. It has become a tradition, and each year the White House hosts an Easter Egg Roll for children and their families. It’s not always a smoothly run event, and bad experiences may result. However, there is no denying that it is a once in a lifetime event for most participants, and nearly everyone who attends feels fortunate to be there.The event is held on the South Lawn of the White House, and the grounds are open for the day with each group entering for a two hour period. “Ready, Set, Go” was the theme for the 2010 White House Easter Egg Roll held on Monday, April 5. The annual event was geared to promote health and wellness among families. All the activities provided to each group featured storytelling, live music, sports courts, cooking stations, and Easter Egg rolling. The activities were meant to encourage children to live active, healthy lives. The First Lady, Michelle Obama’s, “Let’s Move! Initiative,” which is a national campaign to combat childhood obesity which has become a major problem in the nation, was stressed. Hundreds of volunteers helped to run the event throughout the day.Tickets for the White House Easter Egg Roll were free of charge and were distributed through an online lottery system with applications being submitted more than a month ahead. Tickets were required for each person, including infants. Each party is required to have at least one child who is twelve years of age or younger. Many who try do not receive tickets.Real eggs were colorfully decorated and provided for the Easter Egg Rolling. Children and parents were cautioned that they should NOT eat the hard boiled eggs. A commemorative decorated wooden egg was presented to each child. The beautifully crafted eggs, which include the signature of the President and the First Lady, were made available for sale at the National Park Foundation website.All attendees were required to go through the security screening process. As with regular tours to the White House, prohibited items included food and beverage, duffle bags, suitcases, backpacks, smoking materials, weapons, fireworks, aerosols, and animals except guide dogs. Purses, cameras, cell phones, strollers, diaper bags, baby formula, and baby bottles were permitted. Of course, everyone wanted to take photos of the event so there were lots of cameras.The annual White House Easter Egg Roll is a popular event to which a lucky few are chosen to attend. This year children came home with whole beets complete with the leaves and a little dirt. They had cups of dirt with planted seeds. They had apples and tangerines. They heard a story read by Reese Witherspoon, the Academy Award winning actress who played June Carter Cash, wife of Johnny Cash, in the movie, Walk the Line, or other celebrities. They saw live entertainment and actively participated in various sports. The two hours on the White House grounds were enjoyable.Some people had the pleasure of seeing the President and First Lady who did show up for some portion of the Easter Egg Roll festivities. It was an experience which the participants will long remember with fondness. Plan ahead if you want to try and get into next year’s Easter Egg Roll.
The White House Easter Egg Roll Promotes Health and Fitness
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