Pollywood: Egg Rollin’

Inside the White House Easter Egg Roll.

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The 136th White House Easter Egg Roll (Photo by Pete Souza)

The 136th White House Easter Egg Roll (Photo by Pete Souza)

If you have not been to an egg roll at the White House, it is great fun but physically taxing. Children and escorts stand in long lines outside the White House before they are allowed in. Once inside, it is crowded with 30,000 people. Some children were overwhelmed and broke down in tears. Many adults felt like doing the same. But it is a memorable event, which is why it has lasted since the time of President Rutherford B. Hayes. Earlier egg rolls were first held at the Capitol, where families picnicked while children rolled eggs and themselves down the hill. In 1878, they rolled downhill to the White House to protect the lawns of the Capitol.

The 136th Easter egg roll brought a variety of games and healthy snacks for the children in keeping with this year’s theme “Hop Into Healthy, Swing Into Shape.” “I want to make sure that kids know that healthy eating and being active can be fun,” Mrs. Obama said. “We want our kids to be the healthiest and strongest they can be to do well and live up to their God-given potential.”

First lady Michelle Obama hugs a child (Photo by Chuck Kennedy)

First lady hugs a child (Photo by Chuck Kennedy)

While the youngest children used wooden spoons to push colored eggs across a section of the White House lawn, others engaged in a variety of sports, cooking demonstrations, story time and crafts. President Obama shot a few basketballs and read to some children from a favorite childhood book, “Where the Wild Things Are.” Mrs. Obama also read to children sitting on her lap and honored several with her famous hugs (I have been hugged by her at Christmas parties — it is really a wonderful gesture from a first lady).

There were actors and sports stars galore, but not all could be recognized in their costumes. Stars included Jim Carrey (who was in his element!), Washington Redskins player Robert Griffin III, Miss America and Cookie Monster, among others.

Absent were Malia and Sasha who opted out for school this year, the first time they’ve missed the annual festivities.

The 2010 Easter Egg Roll (Photo by Lawrence Jackson)

The 2010 Easter Egg Roll (Photo by Lawrence Jackson)

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