Rain dampens the White House’s first Easter egg roll since 2019 | Way of life

WASHINGTON (AP) — Snoopy, Charlie Brown and “Tonight Show” host Jimmy Fallon walked the soggy White House grounds on Monday for the first Easter egg roll since before the coronavirus pandemic.

Undaunted by the rain, President Joe Biden and his wife, Jill, threw the equivalent of a day-long garden party for some 30,000 children and adults, including celebrities and costumed characters.

A pair of Easter Bunnies escorted the Bidens to the Blue Room balcony to welcome the crowds to their backyard. The first lady chose “egg-ucation” as her theme.

The South Lawn has been turned into a school community because “education never stops,” said Jill Biden, a community college professor.

“The determined spirit of education is what we wanted to honor in this Easter egg roll,” she said.

President Biden said it was “so special” to be able to come together this year after the pandemic forced the White House to cancel the 2020 and 2021 Easter egg rolls.

“It means so much to see and hear the children and all the families show up here today,” he said, citing their joy, laughter and occasional outbursts of “there’s the Easter bunny “.

Biden’s infant grandson, Beau, was among several family members in attendance, including the boy’s parents, Hunter Biden and his wife, Melissa. Also in attendance were the Bidens’ daughter, Ashley Biden, and Natalie Biden, one of their granddaughters.

After their remarks, the president and first lady took to the lawn to watch groups of children use wooden spoons to coax brightly colored hard-boiled eggs across a patch of wet grass to the finish line .

“Ready, ready,” Biden said before blowing his whistle to start the competition. Later, he coached a young egg-roller, saying “Come on, you got it!”

The couple then visited the Reading Corner, where Biden held up a copy of “Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?” as the first lady quickly read aloud “so you’re not all soaked,” she told those waiting in the light rain. Fallon joined them afterwards and read her own children’s book, “Nana Loves You More”. Jill Biden’s grandchildren call her “Nana”.

Hunter Biden introduced himself to people seated in the reading area and to others lined up on the other side of a fence, sometimes carrying his infant son Beau in his arms.

The Easter Egg Roll featured several other stations, including a talent show, a place to teach kids about farming, a photo station, a physical “egg decorating” area with a course of obstacles and a “cafetorium” where children learned how to make treats.

Actress-singer Kristin Chenoweth also appeared in the reading nook.

The gates to the White House opened around 7 a.m., with the first of five waves of people streaming through. Many came prepared for the cold, wet weather with umbrellas, rain ponchos and plastic covers over strollers.

Maya Kennedy, 10, of Portland, Oregon, said she had a great time during her first Easter egg roll at the White House despite the weather. She had seen some of the PBS KIDS characters and heard the first lady speak. The fifth grader said she also wanted to meet Jill Biden.

“She’s really cool,” Maya said near the reading nook as she watched the first lady pose for photos with attendees after her reading, including White House press secretary Jen Psaki and her family.

The White House Easter Egg Roll dates back to 1878.

Associated Press writers Josh Boak and Aamer Madhani contributed to this report.

Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.


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