For the past two years, no eggs were rolled, no bunnies hopped and no kids spent the Monday after Easter on the White House Lawn. But the hiatus from the iconic holiday tradition ends April 18.
“The White House will once again be open and accessible to visitors. And the egg roll is the largest gathering of people at the White House every year,” Stewart McLaurin, the president of the White House Historical Association, told WTOP.
He said that the president is looking to host about 30,000 kids and parents this year for the Egg Roll and it will spread out between five waves beginning at 7:30 a.m. and ending at 6:30 p.m.
First Lady Jill Biden chose this year’s event theme, “EGGucation!”
“Given Dr. Biden’s interest in education and her career in education, she has selected the theme of play on the word egg,” said McLaurin.
There will be the traditional egg rolling, where kids will race each other by pushing wooden eggs down lanes, but the grounds will host a multitude of other activities.
It will feature a school house activity area, egg hunt, reading nook, talent show, field trip to the farm, picture day, a physical “EGGucation” zone and a cafetorium.
The event will also see people travel from across the country.
“It’s a wonderful system of a lottery that is made available through the National Park Service where families across America can go online … They do the lottery drawing and those families get to attend,” said McLaurin.
“It’s not just a local Washington, D.C. event. It’s a national event.”
The Easter Egg Roll has been a tradition at the White House since 1878.
“It had existed on Capitol Hill for some time and the members of Congress were complaining that the children were wearing out the grass on the Capitol lawn,” McLaurin told WTOP. “So Rutherford B. Hayes, who was president at the time, invited the children to the White House that Easter in 1878 and he said if Congress didn’t want them, the White House would accommodate them.”
And while it is a longtime tradition, the egg roll has seen its pauses. Of course the White House has skipped the last two Easters due to COVID-19, but they also paused the tradition during World War I, World War II and when renovations were being completed during President Harry Truman’s administration.