By DARLENE SUPERVILLE, Associated Press
WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House hopes to elicit an “egg citation” when the Easter egg roll returns Monday after a two-year coronavirus-induced hiatus.
President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden expect to host some 30,000 children and their adult chaperones for the egg roll, an egg hunt and other activities.
The first lady, who is a teacher, calls it the “Egg-ucation Roll,” aides said, and is transforming the South Lawn into a school community with a variety of educational stations.
This is the first Easter egg roll held by the Bidens, who are expected to address the crowds and take part in some of the activities, though rain was predicted in Monday’s weather forecast.
The COVID-19 pandemic led the White House to cancel the event in 2020 and 2021.
Along with the egg roll and hunt, the one-day event will include a school activity zone, a reading corner, a talent show, a place to teach children about how farmers provide food , a photo-taking station, a physical “egg-ucation” zone with an obstacle course and other exercise stations, and a “cafetorium” where children and their families will learn how to make and eat treats .
The “egg stravaganza” will cause a stir thanks to the participation of “Tonight Show” host Jimmy Fallon, singer Ciara and actress-singer Kristin Chenoweth.
More than two dozen costumed characters will roam the field, including Dr. Seuss’ The Cat in the Hat, mascots of Major League Baseball’s Washington Nationals race presidents, Rosita and Cookie Monster from “Sesame Street” and Snoopy and Charlie Brown, among others.
Military families will be among the 30,000 attendees, including USS Delaware crew members and their families. The first lady is the sponsor of the nuclear attack submarine, which the president commissioned at a ceremony this month in Wilmington, Delaware.
Members of the general public received their tickets via an online lottery.
The egg roll will be the biggest event yet at the Biden White House and will take place in five waves beginning at 7:30 a.m. and ending at 6:30 p.m.
The resumption of this Easter tradition is a sign that the White House is opening up again, despite a recent surge in COVID-19 cases among Cabinet members, White House staff, Vice President Kamala’s husband Harris and members of Congress, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Some of those cases stemmed from the return this month of the Gridiron Club Spring Dinner.
Self-guided public tours of the Executive Mansion are scheduled to resume on Friday on a limited basis, after also being halted in 2020 due to the pandemic.
The White House Easter Egg Roll dates back to 1878.
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