Bidens kick off 144th annual Easter Egg Roll as kids celebrate at White House

Rain doesn't dampen event's focus on education, pursuit of hidden eggs

President Joe Biden (C) and first lady Jill Biden stand next to the Easter Bunny on the Truman Balcony of the White House for the annual Easter Egg Roll on April 1, 2024. Photo by Yuri Gripas/UP | License Photo

April 1 (UPI) -- Some 40,000 people braved rainy weather in Washington, D.C., on Monday to take part in the 144th annual White House Easter Egg Roll as children of all ages participated in the time-honored tradition.

The South Lawn and Ellipse were transformed into a play and education venue for thousands of children who not only enjoyed the traditions of rolling and hunting eggs but also participated in learning opportunities under the "EGGucation" theme chosen by first lady Jill Biden.


The South Facade of the White House was festooned with balloons marked with STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Mathematics) school subjects as a reflection of the first lady's belief that "with EGGucation, all students can soar."

Biden and her husband, President Joe Biden, kicked off the festivities by introducing the Easter Bunny mascots during a joint appearance on the Truman Balcony of the White House.

"I'm a teacher, so I love any time when we can turn the White House into a classroom, and that's what we're doing today," Jill Biden said, noting features such as the School House Activity Area, Reading Nook, Field Trip to the Farm, Picture Day and the "Physical EGGucation Zone."


"Easter reminds us of the power of hope and renewal, sacrifice and resurrection," the president added. "But mainly love and grace toward one another. It's time to pray for one another, to cherish the blessings and the possibilities that we have as Americans. That's what I see in our country."

This year's event, sponsored as usual by the American Egg Board, included thousands of military and veteran families, caregivers and survivors among the invited guests.

As part of the tradition, children are given colorful spoons and sent out to find hidden, multicolored Easter eggs, which they then must roll to the finish line as parents and other relatives cheer them on.

At 11:29 a.m., Biden blew the whistle to start egg roll game, and afterward the first couple walked onto the lawn to mingle with and greet the participants for about 15 minutes as the rain picked up.

The president's son, Hunter Biden, was present for the event, as were Reps. Colin Allred, D-Texas, and Ro Khanna, D-Calif., Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., and national security communications adviser John Kirby.


The Easter holiday, however, has not passed without the White House being targeted by Republican opponents. House Speaker Mike Johnson joined with other conservative lawmakers over the weekend in blasting Biden for marking Sunday as "Transgender Day of Visibility."

The day has been observed each year on March 31, which this year fell on Easter Sunday.

Johnson called the proclamation "outrageous" in a weekend social media post.

"Banning sacred truth and tradition -- while at the same time proclaiming Easter Sunday as 'Transgender Day' -- is outrageous and abhorrent," Johnson wrote.

When asked about the speaker's comments at Monday's egg roll event, the president answered, "He's thoroughly uninformed."

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