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.
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)
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
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:
THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
March 24, 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.
GEORGE W. BUSH