I remember when I went to the White House as a little girl when the first President Bush was in office. I received a little wooden Easter Egg that was signed by President Bush himself. We stood in line for what seemed an eternity. It was very exciting but a little bewildering for a girl my age. What could all the fuss be about?
Perhaps you’re new to the tradition, or perhaps you’ve never even heard of it. But every year, the White House hosts an Easter Egg Roll for the masses. This is one of the oldest traditions of the White House that started with Rutherford B. Hayes in 1878 and continues on to this day. The tradition came to a halt during the World Wars I & II and during the White House renovations, however, it was later revived under President Dwight D. Eisenhower.
No event would be complete without help from the First Ladies. It was Pat Nixon who brought the Easter Bunny to the annual festivities. In 1981 Nancy Reagan hosted an Easter Egg Hunt that included wooden eggs. This soon became the official keepsake item to collect for this event. I still have the egg and it is somewhere in my home unto this day. I could never throw it away-how could I?
The theme for this year’s Easter Egg Roll was “Let’s go, let’s play, let’s move” to keep in line with the First Lady’s “Let’s Move” Initiative, in order to fight childhood obesity.
The Easter Egg Roll attracts the latest and greatest in children’s writers, education, and entertainment every year. J.K. Rowling as well as many others have come to perform and talk to children. And guess what? Our very own Yo Gabba Gabba came to perform this year! Not bad for an event that draws more than 35,000 people, right?