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Welcome to "Ask the White House" -- an online interactive forum where you can submit questions to Administration officials and friends of the White House. Visit the "Ask the White House" archives to read other discussions with White House officials.

Sara Armstrong
Sara Armstrong
Director of the White House Visitor's Office

March 24, 2005

Sara Armstrong
Hi everyone! I look forward to taking your questions on the White House Easter Egg Roll. It's a wonderful springtime tradition that's held annually on the Monday after Easter. Let's get started.

Ann, from Illinois writes:
Hi Sara,Would you please tell us about the entertainment at the Easter Egg Roll this year? Thanks--I wish I could be there

Sara Armstrong
We have lots of great entertainment this year including Barbara Bailey Hutchinson, Bear in the Big Blue House, Animal Planet, Raggs Kids Club and many others. We also have some wonderful authors including Sonia Manzao ("Maria" from Sesame Street), Doreen Cronin, Shutta Crum, Mo Willems, Doreen Rappaport, Michael Stadther, Pam Munoz Ryan, and Shandi Finnessey (Miss USA 2004).

Lori, from Lebanon, PA writes:
Can you tell me what other events are coming up for adults in the Spring? I would love to attend the Easter roll but it says it is only for children. Thank youLori

Sara Armstrong
Hi Lori. The Spring Garden Tour is a perfect event for adults and children. The tours are usually held one weekend in April. Check back for information on the tours by visiting the White House web site.

Jennifer, from Columbus, Oh writes:
When will the Easter Egg Roll be held this year? Can the public watch?

Sara Armstrong
Jennifer, The Easter Egg Roll will be held on Monday, March 28. Highlights from the event will be web cast live throughout the day on the White House web site. Hope you'll check it out!

Selena, from West Columbia, SC writes:
Are events like the Easter Egg Roll open to the general public? How might we be able to attend?

Sara Armstrong
Hi Selena. The Easter Egg Roll is open to the public, but it requires a ticket for attendance. The National Park Service will distribute free tickets on two dates for entry to the South Lawn. The majority of tickets will be available beginning at 7:30 a.m. on Saturday, March 26, with the remaining tickets available beginning at 7:30 a.m. on Monday, March 28. The tickets, which are timed for entrance, will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis at the Ellipse Visitor Pavilion (southwest corner of 15th and E Streets). A maximum of five tickets will be issued per person. Children of all ages are welcome to attend, as long as there is at least one child seven years old or under and no more than two adults per group. Tickets are required for every attendee, including small children, to enter the White House South Lawn. No tickets are necessary for access or events on the Ellipse.

Kelly, from Centreville, VA writes:
Do the children's receive anything from the White House to commemorate the event?

Sara Armstrong
Yes! Children will receive a poster, a coloring book, the offical wooden egg and several other keepsakes to commemorate the event.

Sande, from Butler, PA writes:
Dear many Easter eggs are colored for the egg hunt, and who actually hides all of the eggs? Thanks you

Sara Armstrong
Hi Sande! We have about 11,000 colored real eggs for the egg roll races and the egg hunt. Another 4,000 real eggs are available for children to dye. And the eggs are hidden by several volunteers who help at the event. The Easter Bunny has hidden a few as well.

Duane, from Savannah, TN writes:
Can any child participate in the Easter Egg Roll? Is there a minimum age limit (I have a three-year old.), security precautions, etc.? Will Mrs. Bush be hosting the event this year?

Sara Armstrong
Children of all ages are welcome to attend, however the event is geared towards young children. While there is no minimum age, you must have at least one child under the age of seven in your party. We are fortunate to have Secretary Spellings and Secretary Leavitt as our co-hosts this year!

Dorothy, from Columbia, SC writes:
I understand that the Easter Egg Roll is the largest public event that the White House hosts each year. How many people normally attend, and how do you organize the logistics of such a large production? I hope the Easter Bunny is very good to you this year, since you help make so many children and their families happy at this wonderful Easter event.

Sara Armstrong
Hi Dorothy! Thousands of people will attend the event and we are fortunate to have hundreds of wonderful volunteers who help make the event a success. I hope the Easter Bunny is good to you as well.

tina, from Fairfax writes:
If the weather is iffy, when will the decision be made to cancel the Roll

Sara Armstrong
We hope it's a beautiful day, but in the case of inclement weather, the event will be cancelled. A decision will be made early Monday morning. Please call 202-456-7041 for a status on the event.

Anusha, from Washington DC writes:
can we take a digital camera to the lawn?

Sara Armstrong

Marie, from Arlington, VA writes:
Who is hosting the Easter Egg roll this year?

Sara Armstrong
We are honored to have Secretary Margaret Spellings from the Department of Education and Secretary Michael Leavitt from the Department of Health and Human Services as our co-hosts!

They will officially kick off the event and read books to the children attending. Both the kick off and the book readings will be web cast live on the White House website.

Heather, from Canfield, Ohio writes:
Hi Sara, Can you please tell me why more information isn't released on the Easter Egg Roll ahead of time.? Our kids always want to know what charactures are going to be there. And we like to know about the artist whose work appears on the egg. Thanks so much for your time. Heather

Sara Armstrong
Heather, The event is usually announced about a month in advance, as was the case this year. To find the most updated information about this year's egg roll, please visit /news/releases/2005/03/20050322-1.html. I also encourage you to visit our special site on the Easter Egg Roll at /easter/2005/.

We have several great characters this year including Clifford the Big Red Dog, Arthur, Charlie Brown and Snoopy, and many others.

Betsy, from Moultrie, GA writes:
Dear Ms. Armstrong: When did the annual Easter Egg Roll become a tradition at the White House, and what is the age limit for this particular event?

Sara Armstrong
Hi Betsy! The egg roll dates back to 1878 when President Hayes welcomed children to the South Lawn. The event was previously held at the Capitol, however Congress passed a law prohibiting the use of the Capitol grounds as a play area, thus moving the event to the White House.

Children of all ages are welcome to attend, as long as there is at least one child under the age of seven in each party.

Ninoska, from Miami writes:
Where is Egg hunt taking place?

Sara Armstrong
The Easter Egg Roll will be held on Monday, March 28 from 8:00 AM until 2:00 PM on the South Lawn of the White House.

Sara Armstrong
Thanks for all of your great questions about the White House Easter Egg Roll. I hope you'll visit the web site on Monday when we web cast live from the White House South Lawn.