- The Washington Times - Monday, April 5, 2010

UPDATED:

The White House’s annual Easter Egg Roll is taking place Monday under warm, sunny skies and is expected to attracted 30,000 visitors before concluding at dusk.

The first wave of children and their parents began arriving at 7:45 a.m.

This year’s theme is “Ready, Set, Go!” to highlight first lady Michelle Obama’s efforts to stop childhood obesity.

The first family greeted guests from a balcony at about 11 a.m.

“Is this not the most perfect day for the Easter Egg Roll? Let’s thank Mother Nature,” said Mrs. Obama, wearing a short-sleeved, hot-pink sweater. “Today we have transformed the South Lawn into a playground to learn more about beginning to live a healthy lifestyle.”

In addition to the traditional egg hunt and the egg roll, in which children race to push eggs through the grass using wooden spoons, the White House will have a sports zone, a yoga garden, a farmers market and and a story-and-music stage.

After the official greeting, Mr. and Mrs. Obama and daughters Sasha and Malia descended to the lawn, where they helped children, among them toddlers in their Easter outfits, participate in the egg roll.

Special guests for this year’s event include U.S. Olympic speed skater Apolo Anton Ohno, author J.K. Rowling, actress Reese Witherspoon and the cast of the hit Fox TV show “Glee.”

The full schedule of events is posted on the Web site whitehouse.gov

The major story-time readers and musical guests will have their performances broadcast live on www.whitehouse.gov/eastereggroll.

The Easter Egg Roll is a White House tradition that officially started in 1878 with President Rutherford B. Hayes. However, records show informal egg-rolling events as early as Abraham Lincoln’s administration.

Other special guests will include singer Sara Bareilles, chef Nora Poullion and NFL players leading children in healthful activities.

Roughly 250,000 tickets were requested through the online lottery.

For Monday’s egg rolling and hunting contests, the White House will provide 14,500 hard-boiled and dyed eggs. An additional 4,500 will be left for children to color at a dyeing station.

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