WASHINGTON – Tens of thousands of people flocked to the South Lawn of the White House on Monday to participate in the 138th Easter Egg Roll.
“Today is a little bit bittersweet for us,” first lady Michelle Obama said. “This is the Obama administration’s last Easter Egg Roll.”
The Obamas were flanked by Star Wars Stormtroopers and the Easter Bunny on their descent from the White House balcony. They seized the opportunity of their last Easter event in office by posing with families for pictures and giving hugs to kids at the egg rolling station. The president even held a baby.
About 35,000 people from all 50 states and the District of Columbia received tickets through an online lottery system to attend the festivities on a cool sunny day.
The administration wanted families to celebrate the work the administration has done for the country, the first lady said.
“It’s our diversity, it’s our values,” Michelle Obama said. “That’s what makes us strong.”
One new fixture of the day was the White House Fun Run, which featured 250 children running with the first lady to promote active and healthy lifestyles for kids – in support of the Let’s Move! initiative.
About 250,000 people have come to the Easter Egg Roll over the past seven years.
Celebrities at the event included Beyoncé, JayZ and Shaquille O’Neal, along with over 50 costumed characters including Charlie Brown, Spongebob and Captain Planet. Idina Menzel, a multi-platinum music artist, sang the national anthem.
Most of the day’s events happened before the shooting at the Capitol. Access to the White House was blocked temporarily as a precaution, even as festivities continued on the South Lawn.
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Download photos: Egg-Roll.zip