April 13, 2006
Good afternoon, everyone! I'm happy to participate today on "Ask the White House" and I look forward to taking your questions about the White House Easter Egg Roll. This annual event will take place on Monday, April 17 on the South Lawn of the White House.
Let's get started with your questions.
Joy, from Maryland writes:
Who are the guests that will be at the egg roll? Will author's of
children's books be there? If so who? Will there be costumed characters?
Hi Joy. We have a wonderful group of entertainers, magicians, and strolling characters this year. For example, Aly & AJ will sing the National Anthem, as well as, perform at one of the entertainment stages later in the day. In addition, Jack Hanna will delight children with all sorts of animals. Strolling around will be Curious George, Cookie Monster, Clifford the Big Red Dog, characters from the animated movie Ice Age, and many others.
Garrett, from Crofton, Maryland writes:
Hi My name is Garrett Youngblood and I am 3 years old. I would like to
know how I and members of my family can participate in the 2006 Easter
Egg Roll? My mom read that last year the National Park Service
distributed the free tickets at the Ellipse Visitor Pavilion. Will that
be the same for this year? and if so when will this occur? My parents
are both active duty Navy and are stationed at Fort Meade, MD. We were
hoping since we live not to far from DC, 15 minutes or so by train, that
we could participate in this time honored tradition. Sincerely, Garrett
Hello Garrett. So nice to hear from you! We were all quite impressed with your typing and communications skills! I hope you and your family can join us at the Easter Egg Roll. Your mom is correct - the National Park Service will distribute free tickets from the Ellipse Visitor Pavilion. Click here for details about tickets: /news/releases/2006/03/20060308.html
Mary, from Lithia, FL
I loved meeting the authors at past Easter Egg Rolls. Which children's
book authors will be at this year's event?
Mary, we have a variety of great authors and celebrity readers who will read at one of two Reading Nooks throughout the day. Childrens book authors include Susan Stevens Crummel, Gloria Jean Pinkney, Eric Rohmann, and Pam Muñoz Ryan. We also will have astronaut Buzz Aldrin and athletes including Amanda Beard, Sasha Cohen, Kimmie Meissner, and from the Washington Redskins will be Santana Moss and Clinton Portis. Also, several members of the Presidents Cabinet will share some of their favorite books with children.
Cathy, from Hibbing MN writes:
Is it possible to purchase a White House Easter Egg? I would love to get
one as a gift for someone who is getting married this year.
Cathy, you can purchase the official wooden egg by contacting the White House Historical Association after Monday, April 17. You may contact them by calling (202) 737-8292 or by visiting their website for details: www.whitehousehistory.org
Cliff, from Brimfield, Ohio
Director Armstrong: How many times has the Egg Roll had to be cancelled
do to weather? Thank You and Roll On
During the past few years, the Egg Roll has closed early twice due to inclement weather. We are hoping for good weather this year, but in the event of a rainy day, you may contact our 24-hour line for the current status at (202) 456-7041. We will make a decision early on Monday morning once we assess the conditions to determine the safety of the event. However, be rest assured that if we experience only a few sprinkles, the eggs will continue to roll!
Kareif, from Linden, TX
What year was the first Easter Egg Roll?
The first White House Easter Egg Roll was hosted by President Rutherford B. Hayes in 1878. It has been a long standing tradition at the White House ever since. To learn more about the history of the Easter Egg Roll, please visit www.whitehouse.gov/easter/history.html
Bill, from Miami, Fla.
Other than the egg rolling, what else does the White House have planned
for the day's events?
In addition to the official Egg Roll, other activities include an egg hunt, face painting, egg dyeing, a coloring station called "Be an Easter Artist", a Bunny Trail obstacle course, entertainers, magicians, and book readings. There will also be a number of strolling characters from children's books, movies and television for children to meet.
Barbara, from FLORIDA writes:
What do I have to do if I want to visit White House? I'm going to D.C.
on vacation and had heard you can't enter to tour White House Thanks
Thanks for your question, Barbara. As you might imagine, Spring and Summer are two of the busiest seasons to tour the White House, so I recommend that you submit your request early. Reservations to tour the White House are typically scheduled a month in advance and may be obtained by contacting your Member of Congress. For more information on White House tours, please visit www.whitehouse.gov/history/tours/
Jeff, from Encino, CA
If I am unable to get tickets to the easter egg roll, is there any other
way I can watch or participate?
Jeff, I would recommend that you log onto the White House web site on Monday morning to watch some of the day's activities. The opening ceremony is slated to begin at 9 AM Eastern. Throughout the day, we will provide coverage via webcast of a few book readings, as well as other activities on the South Lawn. Check back after the event for photos, video and a summary of the day's festivities: www.whitehouse.gov/easter/2006
Thanks to everyone for your great questions. We are really excited about the event and look forward to having you join us either in person or online. Happy Easter!