The White House recently announced details on the 2010 Easter Egg Roll – an event that will bring 30,000 people from all 50 states and DC to the White House. But you don’t have to be on the South Lawn to enjoy Monday’s festivities – we’ll be livestreaming all day on WhiteHouse.gov.
1) Approximately 250,000 tickets were requested through the online lottery2) This year an online lottery was used to give more guests from across the US a chance to attend3) At least one family from all 50 states was successful in the lottery4) 3,000 tickets were distributed to students of DC, MD and VA schools5) 4,000 tickets were distributed to military families
6) The eggs are available in four unique colors – purple, pink, green, yellow – and include the stamped signatures of the President and First Lady7) The wooden eggs are produced through a process of wood turning and barrel dying
8) 14,500 hard-boiled and dyed eggs will be used between the egg roll and the egg hunt, and an additional 4,500 hard-boiled eggs will be provided for the egg dying station on the South Lawn9) “Chirping eggs” will be part of the Egg Hunt, to accommodate guests with visual impairments10) The Official Souvenir Wooden Egg is given to all children at the event age 12 and younger11) A total of 135,000 Souvenir wooden eggs were produced for this year’s event12) The National Park Foundation produces the White House Easter Eggs and they are available for sale at: www.easter.nationalparks.org
13) The activities are centered on the theme “Ready, Set, Go!” encouraging healthy and active living in coordination with the First Lady’s Let’s Move! initiative. Some of the activities include:14) Football – NFL players will teach children to catch and throw, as well as coach them through an obstacle course to test their new skills15) Family Farmer’s Market – a look at healthy eating with celebrity chef demo stations.16) Make Your Own Garden – using the White House Kitchen Garden as the inspiration, children can make a seeding cup to take their own garden home to grow17) Softball, Golf, Soccer, Basketball and Tennis – Children will have the opportunity to learn the fundamentals of sports from professional athletes18) Hop To It! – A non-stop dance station at the White House complete with hula hoops and dance workshops19) Eggspress Yourself – an arts and crafts area where children can do everything from egg dying to making “Medals of Eggsellence” to spend the day looking like Olympians20) The White House Easter Egg classics will also be back this year. These activities include the Egg Hunt, the Storytime Stage and, of course, the traditional Easter Egg Roll21) The Egg Roll is accessible to children in wheelchairs with the addition of wheelchair matting22) Books that will be read on the Storytime Stage were checked out from DC public libraries. And they will all be returned on time!23) Don’t worry, sweets are still a part of the Easter Egg Roll. This year’s goody bags will include Hershey’s chocolates and Peeps
24) 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 administration25) 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 area26) On Easter day in 1878, when the ban on egg rolling at the Capitol was enforced, 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 lawn27) By 1899, the White House Easter Egg Roll had become quite popular, with over 8,000 people in attendance. This year, 30,000 were invited to attend the event28) 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 cancelled29) President Ronald Reagan was the first President to hide autographed eggs for children to find in the Egg Hunt 30) President Nixon and First Lady Pat Nixon were the first to include the White House Easter Bunny in the festivities31) 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 egg32) 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
33) The First Lady is the official host of the White House Easter Egg Roll34) The event cannot officially be called the White House Easter Egg Roll until the opening ceremony begins and the Easter Egg Bunny makes an appearance
35) The White House held a local poster competition and invited DC, Maryland and Virginia schools to submit their ideas. Submissions came in from 44 area schools36) The First Lady selected the winning designs37) This year’s co-winners are siblings. The program cover was designed by Kayleigh Geibel, a third grader at Dayton Oaks Elementary School. The other co-winner is Devin Geibel, a fifth grader from Dayton Oaks Elementary. Devin’s artwork serves as the 2010 Official Easter Egg Roll Poster. Dayton Oaks Elementary school is located in Howard County, MD38) Kayleigh and Devin will be attending the White House Easter Egg Roll, along with their classes and teachers
39) All goody bags are made from 100% recycled plastic40) The goody bags will include a brochure on healthy eating41) The Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) - certified packaging of the eggs, made from recyclable paperboard, was designed to minimize waste and environmental impact42) For the second year in a row, the souvenir egg is made from Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) - certified, U.S. hardwood43) Recycling bins will be placed throughout the South Lawn and the Ellipse44) Many of the fruits and vegetables for this year’s event were organically grown45) Food scraps from the Play with Your Food station will be composted – a first for the Easter Egg Roll
46) 7 American Sign Language (ASL) interpreters and 6 nurses will volunteer at this year’s event47) The White House Easter Egg Roll is made possible by the hard work of close to 1,200 volunteers48) All volunteers attended at least one training session and some traveled from as far away as Texas to be part of this year’s event49) Volunteers come from the White House, the Administration and interested citizens from across the DC metro area or beyond50) Many volunteers will arrive for their shifts as early as 5:00 AM to help get the Easter Egg Roll rolling!