Egg Rolling, DJ Lance, fresh fruit and outdoor activities on the White House South Lawn? Why, yes, please.
Yesterday, around 30,000 people from all 50 states and DC made their way to the South Lawn of the White House for this year’s Easter Egg Roll. Out of luck, our family won tickets in the online lottery for this year’s event and battled the traffic—cars and people—and let the kid have a go at this Egg Rolling business.
In addition to the generations-old tradition of egg rolling, the event reflected Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move initiative introduced earlier this year. The Egg Roll’s theme, ‘Ready, Set, Go!’ echoed the First Lady’s campaign to educate kids about making healthy choices in an effort to combat childhood obesity.
As the official welcome, as seen in the event program, described, the White House’s South Lawn was transformed into America’s Playground for the day. The Easter Egg Roll, the largest annual public event held at the White House, featured stations and activities sprawled across the Lawn, which were aimed at entertaining and educating all the kids (and even the parents in attendance.)
Aligned with the Let’s Move initiative, the healthy activities were a welcome addition to the event. We spent most of our time dancing to the fun music in the Hop to It stage. We missed out on seeing Yo Gabba Gabba which played during a different timelot, but we had the chance to see our good buddy, DJ Lance hula hooping on the Hop to It Stage.
The kid even hammed it up for Ellen Degeneres’ cameraman while dancing to DJ Tony, who just so happened to play a few of his favorite songs, one of which included Black Eyed Peas’ Boom Boom Pow. It doesn’t get any more memorable than that.
The Family Farmer’s Market was a cool area that gave kids a look at healthy eating with celebrity chef demo stations. One of the stations was the smoothie station, something that the kid adores, much thanks to one of his favorite shows. We loved the Make Your Own Garden, which not only used the White House Kitchen Garden as inspiration, but showcased some of the new seed packets from Sesame Street’s new gardening line (more info on this in a different post) We took home a watermelon seedling and hope to plant some sunflowers in the garden of our new house.
The sports station, geared to the older kids, featured demos on softball, golf, soccer, basketball and tennis. At later time slots, I heard professional athletes were on hand to offer the demos!
The performers and celebrities were quite the highlight of the day’s events. In our specific timeslot, the kid managed to sit in on Maria reading a story, with Elmo on hand to help out. Later in the morning, Reese Witherspoon, one of my favorite actresses, read to the kids as well.
Accessibility and Sustainability
The accessibility and sustainability of the Egg Roll were the two main aspects that impressed me the most. In years past, the Egg Roll was said to be reserved mainly for Washingtonians and other locals. This year marked the second year that tickets for the Egg Roll were distributed online. The White House extended this year’s event, beginning the festivities at 7:45 AM (yawn!) and an end time of 5:45 PM. Each group of 6,000 guests spent two full hours on the White House’s South Lawn. For the first time, guests from all 50 states and DC were represented at the annual Egg Roll.
As a parent who aims to be eco-conscious, I was pleased that sustainability was prevalent throughout the event. I appreciate that the event geared to teach kids how to garden, to shop at Farmer’s Markets, make healthy foods and much more. The White House said that it made an effort to minimize the environmental impact of the 2010 Easter Egg Roll. Some of the highlights include: the “greenest” souvenir egg in Egg Roll history, crafted from Forest Stewardship Council certified U.S. hardwood; goody bags made from 100% post-consumer recycled plastic; the use of organically grown fruits and vegetables at the Play with Your Food station; and increased recycling and composting capabilities on the day of the event.
Winning tickets for the Egg Roll was a special thing, and one that a few of my Twitter followers and friends were sure to remind me about. As opposed to the events that we regularly attend for NKT, this wasn’t a blogger event, it was pure luck: Out of the 250,000 people who registered to attend, we were one of the lucky few. In general, we don’t win much at anything, in fact, we usually have the worst luck ever. So, even if it was an unexpected expense to travel to DC while we’re in the midst of buying our first house, and miss seeing most of our family this Spring, it was incredibly important for us to attend the Egg Roll. To experience this special event, and also to be a part of the Let’s Move campaign first hand, a topic that I try to cover as often as possible here on NKT, the White House Easter Egg Roll was a fun adventure we won’t soon forget.
Thanks for letting me share this event on NKT, Facebook, Flickr and Twitter.
And here’s more information, in case you guys want to know more: