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Easter Egg Roll brings thousands to White House

Thousands of children and their families flooded the White House South Lawn for the annual springtime celebration.
By Gabrielle Levy   |   April 21, 2014 at 4:27 PM  |  Updated April 22, 2014 at 7:39 AM   |   Comments

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WASHINGTON, April 21 (UPI) -- The president and first lady held what they called the "most fun event" of the year, welcoming an estimated 30,000 guests to the White House for the annual Easter Egg Roll.

Hundreds of children took turns pushing dyed hardboiled eggs across the South Lawn with wooden spoons, cheered on by their parents and volunteers. The Obamas stopped by to officiate over the race at one point, and then while the president read from the beloved children's book, Where the Wild Things Are, the first lady demonstrated a few healthy "kid-friendly" recipes as part of her Let's Move! initiative.

"I want to make sure that kids know that healthy eating and being active can be fun, because what today is about is having a whole lot of fun," she said during her opening remarks. "And I hope you all do that, because we want our kids to be the healthiest and the strongest they can be, so they can do well in school and live up to all of their God-given potential."

The president joined several professional basketball players, including Washington Wizards player Eton Thomas and retired NBA star Dikembe Mutombo, on the White House courts. After watching the kids take part in a drill, Obama took the ball to chants of "shoot it! shoot it!" and promptly missed his first two attempts from the free-throw line, before sinking the third.

The Obamas were flanked by the Easter Bunny -- as is tradition, a White House staffer donned the suit -- and their dogs, Bo and Sunny. Also present were Chopped judge Chef Marc Murphy, cast members from the Disney Channel show Jessie, television Dr. Oz star Mehmet Oz, Miss America Nina Davuluri, Jim Carrey and pop singer Ariana Grande. First daughters Malia and Sasha Obama were absent, presumably in school.

Click through the slideshow above for a look at the day's events.

Follow @gabbilevy and @UPI on Twitter.
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