- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 6, 2010

The Obama family welcomed thousands of children to the sunny South Lawn of the White House on Monday for the annual Easter Egg Roll, a Washington rite of spring.

The Egg Roll dates to 1878, when President Hayes was in office. In the main event, children race to push eggs through the grass using wooden spoons.

“Is everybody having a good time?” President Obama asked the enthusiastic crowd from a balcony over the South Lawn. “Happy Easter, everybody. We are thrilled that all of you could come.”

The theme of this year’s egg roll was “Ready, Set, Go!” and that ties in with first lady Michelle Obama’s campaign against childhood obesity. The event featured basketball, yoga, dancing, gardening and healthy eating activities.

“Today, we have transformed the South Lawn into a playground,” Mrs. Obama said. “And our hope today is that in addition to having fun and doing some of the traditional activities, like the egg roll and the Easter egg hunt, that you can learn about beginning to live a more healthy life.”

The healthy living theme carried over to the Storytime Stage, where Mr. Obama read “Green Eggs and Ham” by Dr. Seuss.

Mr. Obama told the children seated around the first family that the story’s moral is that you never know if you’re going to like something until you give it a try.

“When your parents tell you to eat your broccoli, you don’t know yet whether you’re going to like it or not; you’ve got to try it,” he said, with hearty agreement from Mrs. Obama, who shouted, “Just try it!”

Afterward, the first lady read “Horton Hatches the Egg,” also by Dr. Seuss.

The White House said 30,000 men, women and children from all 50 states attended the Egg Roll throughout the day. To prepare, they have hard-boiled and dyed 14,500 eggs.

Other activities included an egg hunt, an arts and crafts workshop, and performances from pop star Justin Bieber and the cast of the television show “Glee.”

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