White House Easter Egg Roll is celebrated every Easter Monday at the White House in Washington, D.C. and this year will be celebrated on April 1. During this event, children participate in different activities such as Easter egg rolling races, hearing stories read by the First Lady herself, and traditional egg hunts. The celebration also featured the U.S. Marine Band and the presence of the Easter Bunny as a special guest. Each year, attendees to The Easter Egg Roll come from all 50 states, and even almost all working staff at the White House join in the celebration.
History of White House Easter Egg Roll
The White House Easter Egg Roll is a tradition that had its origins in 1878, through former President Rutherford B. Hayes. Some even state that events like this one began a few years earlier, under President Abraham Lincoln. Children from across the country travel to Washington, D.C. every Easter Monday to compete in a decorated egg rolling race, and throughout the years, the event has grown to have more activities and welcome an increasing number of people.
President Benjamin Harrison, in 1889, asked the U.S. Marine Band to play music during the Easter Egg Roll, and, since then, their participation has been an official part of the event’s schedule. In 1969, the First Lady asked a staff member to put on an Easter Bunny costume to greet the children on the driveway of the White House, which originated the custom of having Easter Bunnies hopping around the gardens. In 1981, a big hunt for wooden eggs signed by famous figures was proposed by President Ronald Reagan and now, every year, wooden eggs are considered the main souvenir of the White House Easter Egg Roll.
There were a few times when the White House Easter Egg Roll didn’t happen. During World Wars I and II, the White House abstained from celebrating the event, in respect of the tragedies brought upon the American people. From 1946 to 1952, the event couldn’t take place because of conservation and renovation efforts in the White House. Later on, in 1959, 1964, 1978, 1984, and 2001, the event was canceled due to bad weather conditions. And, finally, in 2020 and 2021, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the event had to be given up as well.
White House Easter Egg Roll timeline
President Rutherford B. Hayes officially starts the tradition.
President Benjamin Harrison asks the U.S. Marine Band to play music at the event.
First Lady Thelma Nixon has a staff member put on an Easter Bunny costume to greet the children.
President Ronald Reagan proposes a hunt for wooden eggs signed by famous people.
White House Easter Egg Roll FAQs
How to get tickets for White House Easter Egg Roll?
In order to get a ticket, you have to enter an online lottery on the official White House Easter Egg Roll website.
Can anyone go to the White House Easter Egg Roll?
The event is especially thought for kids, so there must be at least one child under 13 and a maximum of two adults per application.
Why is it called the Easter Egg Roll?
During the race, decorated Easter Eggs are literally rolled around the gardens of the White House.
White House Easter Egg Roll Activities
Attend the event
Tickets are available online. You can always get one and travel to Washington, D.C. to partake in the celebrations yourself.
Watch it online
If you can’t travel to attend the Race, you can watch it being live-streamed online on the White House's official social media. It’s just as fun.
Decorate an egg
Why not grab an egg and decorate it yourself? You can use paint, stickers, and even nail polish. Be creative!
5 Facts About Easter Eggs You’ll Love
They are ancient
Traditional Easter Eggs have existed for thousands of years, dating back to Mesopotamia.
They can be massive
The largest decorated Easter Egg ever made was over 50 feet tall.
Eggs are good omens
In many cultures, eggs mean new life and rebirth.
The dye represents the blood of Christ
Eggs were dyed red to represent the blood of Christ spilled on Good Friday.
They can be expensive
One of the most expensive Easter Eggs ever made was the Winter Fabergé Egg, and it cost $9,579,500 in its most recent auction.
Why We Love White House Easter Egg Roll
It’s a great way to extend Easter fun. Both young and old can play, run around, and eat lots of candy.
It brings Americans together
The Race is an event held at the White House and broadcasted live to the entire country. As such, it gets Americans together to watch and have fun.
It’s a fun way to celebrate Easter
There are many ways to celebrate Easter. Still, we think the Easter Egg Roll is the most fun of all!
White House Easter Egg Roll dates