On Monday April 1, 2013, the White House hosted the 135th annual White House Easter Egg Roll. More than 35,000 people joined us
for activities outside, inside, and on top of the White House. This year's theme was "What goes around comes around".
Our Easter Egg Roll Schedule of Events included the usual storytime stage, cooking stage, egg dying, yoga garden and music stage set up outside where entertainers, artists, and
some special guests performed throughout the day. Other fun activities included: egg tossing and tennis on the White House roof; curvy slide down to the South Lawn; ball pit
fun in the Oval Office; Easter fun activities throughout the White House; and an assortment of age-appropriate video games available on the Watch Floor of the Situation Room.
White House April Fools' Day Prank: Easter Egg Roll Live Stream
It is a White House tradition to broadcast scenes from the Easter Egg Roll LIVE via web cams positioned on the Truman Balcony and in various locations on the South Lawn.
The 2013 live webcast of the Easter Egg Roll included a special White House April Fools Day joke that was celebrated worldwide.
Easter Egg Roll Photo Gallery
Colorful Easter eggs were tossed off the White House roof at special targets below
Only the bravest and most surefooted guests dared to play tennis up on the roof
Our heavily armed snipers were dressed in kid-friendly bunny attire
The slide down the South Portico was a big hit
Children loved playing in the Oval Office ball pit
Easter egg decorating inside the White House Mess
Bowling with Easter eggs
Even the press briefing room was part of the fun
Easter Egg Roll guests played all of their their favorite video games on the Watch Floor of the Situation Room
Easter Egg Roll Performers
Rave reviews over the choice of our musical performers: the beloved Bay City Rollers! The original Scottish
boy-band from the 1970s reunited for a one-time only concert. Known for their big hit "Saturday Night",
they delighted not only the little ones, but their middle-aged moms as well!
Below is a screen shot from our Rockin' Egg Roll Stage featuring the beloved Bay City Rollers.
Second Chance for Easter Egg Roll Tickets
The official lottery for 2013 Easter Egg Roll tickets closed on February 25th. Over 300,000 tickets were requested. Some hopeful Americans entered the lottery and lost; others simply missed their opportunity to enter.
As the most open and accessible administration in history, we wish we could have every
child participate in this memorable event. But we can't.
In 2008, the President campaigned on the idea of HOPE. And in 2013, he continued that dream by offering the American People a second chance for tickets. Click on the button to the right to find out how.
For those of you who did not receive tickets, be sure to try again for the official Easter Egg Roll lottery in 2014.
Souvenir White House Eggs
Due to the distressed economy, we offered a common-sense alternative to the traditional pricey wooden souvenir eggs
for sale by the National Park Foundation.
Each year, the White House decorates thousands of hard-boiled eggs for the Easter Egg Roll. At the end of the day, these eggs
are scooped up and thrown away. Wasteful!
This year, these discarded eggs were made available to the general public on a first-come first-served basis. Sure they may be chipped
and perishable, but they were free!
After the event concluded, White House staff members and the Secret Service gently tossed the leftover eggs over the White House fence.
Easter Egg Roll Costume Characters
The White House chose costume characters that reflected the importance of family values and was proud that the entire cast of "Family Guy" took part in this year’s Easter Egg Roll.
These beloved characters wandered around the White House lawn passing out lots of candy and soft drinks. Giggity Giggity!
Easter Egg Roll Map of Activities
Easter Egg Roll Brunch at the White House Mess
We opened up the White House Mess this year to our hungry Egg Roll participants. Our special brunch menu pleased even our youngest guests.
We are glad that many Easter Egg rollers took advantage of this rare opportunity to dine at the White House Mess.
Easter Egg Roll on Whitehouse.Gov - Through the Years
Take a hop back in time and view the Easter Egg Roll pages from whitehouse.gov from 1993-2010.
The Easter Egg Roll is a White House tradition dating back to 1878 and President Rutherford B. Hayes, but there are records of informal egg rolling events as early as Abraham Lincoln’s administration.
After the Civil War, egg rolling often took place on the Capitol building’s grounds. But by 1876, Congressmen grew tired of the torn up grounds and rowdy crowds and passed a law prohibiting the use of the Capitol Grounds as a play area.
On Easter day in 1878, when the ban on egg rolling at the Capitol went into effect, some claim that President Hayes saw tearful children while riding by the Capitol Grounds in his carriage and invited them to play on the White House lawn.
By 1899, the White House Easter Egg Roll had become quite popular, with over 8,000 people in attendance. This year, over 30,000 were invited to attend the event.
The Easter Egg Roll has been held at the White House every year except during World War I, World War II and the Truman Renovation of the White House, when it was moved to other Washington locations or cancelled.
President Ronald Reagan was the first President to hide autographed eggs for children to find in the Egg Hunt.
President Nixon and First Lady Pat Nixon were the first to include the White House Easter Bunny in the festivities.
President George H.W. Bush and First Lady Barbara Bush were the first to affix the signature of the President and First Lady to the commemorative egg.
First Lady Grace Coolidge was known for her love of pets, but none were more famous than her pet raccoon, Rebecca, who made an appearance at the White House Easter Egg Roll in the 1920’s.
President Barack Obama was the first President to hold the annual Easter Egg Roll indoors in 2011.
The Easter Egg Roll will be held on April Fools Day.
Fun Facts for the White House Easter Egg Roll
At least one family from all 50 states is successful each year in the public lottery.
About 3,000 tickets are distributed to public schools in DC, Maryland and Virginia.
Over 4,000 tickets are distributed to military families.
The 2014 White House Easter Egg Roll tickets will also be distributed via an online lottery
The souvenir White House wooden eggs included the stamped signatures of the President and First Lady.
The wooden eggs were produced through a process of wood turning and barrel dying. They were made in the US from FSC-certified, US hardwood.
The souvenir wooden eggs were given to children 12 and younger at the event.
The White House official souvenir eggs were also for sale online
A total of 83,000 souvenir wooden eggs were produced for last year’s event.
14,500 hard-boiled and dyed eggs were used between the egg roll and the egg hunt.
4,500 boiled white eggs were decorated at the Egg Dying station throughout the course of the day.
“Chirping eggs” were available for visually impaired children participating in the Egg Roll and Egg Hunt.
An Easter egg hunt & the traditional Easter egg roll
Rockin’ Egg Roll Stage - Live musical performances for all ages.
Storytime Stage - Celebrities bring books to life.
Hop To It! - An instructional dance party on the South Lawn! Get up and go jump rope, hula hoop, dance and more.
Eggtivity Zone Obstacle Course - A series of obstacles and drills, including soccer, football and baseball obstacle courses.
Basketball and Tennis- Get hands-on training from basketball and tennis pros on the President’s court!
Yoga Garden- Come try yoga with professional instructors.
Eggspress Yourself - An arts and crafts workshop filled with egg dying, egg decorating, face painting and more.
Play with your Food - Kids’ Kitchen, Make-your-own Garden, Family Farmer’s Market, Buzzing about Bees, and more led by the White House chefs and celebrity guest chefs. This activity center is built around the White House Kitchen Garden.
Easter Bunny and Ceremony
The First Lady was the official host of the White House Easter Egg Roll.
The event cannot officially be called the White House Easter Egg Roll until the opening ceremony, when the Easter Bunny makes an appearance.
Easter Egg Roll Performers, Special guests, and Entertainment
Jordin Sparks, Austin Mahone, Coco Jones, Sesame Street, and The Wanted performed on the Rockin’ Egg Roll Stage. Jessica Sanchez sang the National Anthem.
Reading on the Storytime Stage: NASCAR’s Danica Patrick, Minnesota Viking Adrian Peterson, Elmo, Abby, Gordon and Rosita from Sesame Street, the full cast of Super Sprowtz, The Wanted, and actress Quvenzhané Wallis.
All goody bags were recyclable and were made from recycled materials.
The packaging of the eggs, made from recyclable paperboard, was designed to minimize waste and environmental impact.
The wooden souvenir eggs were made in the US from Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) - certified US hardwood.
90 trash bins and 90 recycling bins were placed throughout the South Lawn and Ellipse.
Easter Egg Roll Volunteers
10 professional American Sign Language interpreters volunteered their time for the event. There were also 6 nurses and 2 physicians from George Washington University.
The White House Easter Egg Roll was made possible by the hard work of close to 1,200 volunteers.
All volunteers attended at least one training session and some traveled from as far away as Germany to be part of last year’s event.
Many volunteers arrived for their shifts as early as 5:00 AM to help get the Easter Egg Roll rolling.
Fun in Numbers
The Egg Roll used 72 wooden spoons and 8 whistles
The event incorporated almost 60 volunteer face painters
2,000 eggs were used to provide breakfast for the volunteers
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