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White House to hold Annual Easter Egg Roll on Monday, March 28

President Bush extends greetings for Easter

Posted: March 25, 2005 (Updated March 26, 2005) PRESIDENT'S RADIO ADDRESS  

Slipping and sliding, eggs are tossed in rainy race on the South Lawn during the 2004 White House Easter Egg Roll Monday, April 12, 2004. (White House photo by Paul Morse)

A helping hand is given during the Easter egg roll where little competitors use a spoon to carry a hard-boiled egg through the South Lawn race course and across the finish line at the White House Easter Egg Roll Monday, April 21, 2003. (White House photo by Susan Sterner)

Accompanied by all sorts of story book characters, Lynne Cheney hosts of the 2003 White House Easter Egg Roll on the South Lawn Monday, April 21, 2003. (White House photo by David Bohrer)
One of the oldest White House traditions, the annual White House Easter Egg Roll will be held Monday, March 28 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the South Lawn of the White House.

Presidents and their families have long enjoyed the White House's largest public celebration. Rolling eggs on the Monday after Easter was a tradition observed by many Washington families, and it has been customary, from the outset, for Presidents, First Ladies, their children, grandchildren and pets to attend the festivities. Among the most eagerly anticipated guests each year, of course, is the Easter Bunny.

The White House Easter Bunny, usually a White House staffer dressed in a special White House rabbit suit, was introduced by Pat Nixon, wife of President Richard Nixon, in 1969. Strict guidelines prohibit the bunny from being seen without his costume head, but the identity of the staffer inside is revealed every once in a while. Perhaps the most famous bunny of all was the wife of President Reagan's Attorney General Edwin Meese III. Ursula Meese so enjoyed the role that she performed for six seasons, earning her the nickname "The Meester Bunny."

The Easter Egg Roll is open to the public, the National Park Service distributes free tickets for entry to the South Lawn.

Activities begin at 7:30 a.m. on the Ellipse with food and entertainment. No tickets are necessary for access or events on the Ellipse. On the South Lawn, children age seven and under can participate in the egg roll, and all children may participate in egg decorating and other activities. For all family members, there will be live music; reading corners with special guest readers including Doreen Cronin, author of the book Click Clack Moo and Sonia Manzano, "Maria" on Sesame Street and author of No Dogs Allowed!; and several stage shows. Also in attendance will be some favorite characters from children's educational programming, including Clifford the Big Red Dog, Leona from Between the Lions and The Berenstain Bears.

There will be about 11,000 colored real eggs for the egg roll races and the egg hunt. Another 4,000 real eggs are available for children to dye. And the eggs are hidden by several volunteers who help at the event. The Easter Bunny has hidden a few as well.

> History of the White House Easter Egg Roll


President Bush sent greetings to all who celebrate the Christian holiday of Easter

Following is the text of President Bush’s message for Easter:

(begin text)

Office of the Press Secretary
(Crawford, Texas)
March 24, 2005

Easter 2005

For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16

I send greetings to all those celebrating Easter, the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. Through His sacrifice and triumph over death, Christ lifted the sights of humanity forever. In His teachings, the poor have heard hope, the proud have been challenged, and the weak and dying have found assurance. Today, the words of Jesus continue to comfort and strengthen Christians around the world.

During this holy season, we thank God for His blessings and ask for His wisdom and guidance. We also keep in our thoughts and prayers the men and women of our Armed Forces -- especially those far from home, separated from family and friends by the call of duty. May the joy of Easter fill our hearts with gratitude for our freedom, love for our neighbors, and hope for peace.

Laura and I wish you a Happy Easter.


(end text)



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