The traditional White House Easter Egg roll returned to the south lawn after a Covid-enforced two-year absence on Monday, the celebratory mood of Joe Biden‘s first time hosting it a marked contrast to the politics-infused events of the Donald Trump era.
“My job is to keep it from raining,” the president said as he joined the first lady Jill Bidenvice president Kamala Harris and thousands of children and their families for the day-long event.
Ultimately, the weather did not cooperate, and delivered an Easter Monday soaking reminiscent of the 2019 egg roll hosted by Trump that was the most recent before the pandemic intervened.
But the rain was one of few similarities. Instead of talking of the border wall and other campaign rhetoric, Trump throwing signed hats into the crowd and Donald Trump Jr declaring his own daughter the “winner” of the egg racing, this year’s event was themed around education, and had a much lighter feel, billed as the “egg-ucation roll.”
Jill Biden, a college professor, gave the introduction from the south lawn balcony, flanked by her husband and two outsized Easter bunnies:
As your first lady and as a teacher, I’ve seen again and again that learning does not only happen in the classroom. There are so many fun opportunities to learn around us every day. And that’s especially true here at the White House.
For generations, presidents, and first ladies, and kids just like you celebrated the Easter Egg roll together, racing and making crafts, reading books and of course, meeting the Easter Bunny.
Education never stops. The determined spirit of education is what we wanted to honor in this Easter Egg Roll. So we turned the south lawn into a school community.
About 30,000 children and their families were invited to attend the celebration. Besides the egg roll and an egg hunt, events included a schoolhouse activity area, a reading nook, a talent show, a place to teach about farming, a photo-taking station, a physical “egg-ucation” zone with an obstacle course, and a “cafetorium” where children will learn to make treats according to Reuters.
Costumed characters included several from Sesame Street and Dr Seuss’s The Cat in the Hat.
Since its first appearance on Easter Monday in 1878, The White House egg roll has, traditionally, been hosted as a politics-free event. Biden said: “It’s so special. It means so much to see the children and all the families show up, the joy, the laughter. ”