30,000 join White House Easter egg roll
WASHINGTON - Agence France-Presse
President Barack Obama does pushups during the White House Easter Egg Roll hosted by the president and first lady Michelle Obama, Monday, April 9, 2012, at the White House in Washington. AP photoPresident Barack Obama and his family, joined by the Easter Bunny, welcomed some 30,000 people for the annual Easter Egg Roll on Monday, the White House-sponsored holiday extravaganza.
Thousands of children joined in the event, whose theme this year was encouraging children to lead healthy and active lives under First Lady Michelle Obama's "Let's Move! initiative" to combat childhood obesity.
"We are so thrilled that all of you could join us here today," Obama told the first group -- one of five groups of 6,000 people who got tickets to the annual event, which dates back to 1878 and president Rutherford B. Hayes.
Obama was also joined by his daughters Malia and Sasha and the family dog Bo, and read from the children's book, "Where the Wild Things Are." In addition to looking for Easter eggs, the participants were invited to try an obstacle course, a yoga session or to work out with the Harlem Globetrotters basketball team.
Players and coaches from professional sports teams were on hand to teach kids how to play sports and show ways to stay active and fit.
Among the celebrities participating were movie stars Julianne Moore and Forest Whitaker. Several chefs including those from the White House prepared healthy eating demonstrations.
Over 200,000 people entered an online lottery for tickets, and 30,000 were allocated. The winners were split into five groups, each of which was able to spend two hours on the South Lawn.