Melania Trump hosted the White House’s 139th Easter Egg Roll on Monday, April 17. Traditionally, the First Lady sets up and hosts the egg roll. While the event had early indications of problems, in the end Melania and her staff pulled off the egg roll without a hitch.
The First Lady has yet to appoint several positions of her staff, which led to speculation that she might not have the ability to pull off the Easter Egg Roll. However, over 400 volunteers showed up to participate in the making of goodie bags and activities for the participating children. Tickets were given to schools, children’s hospitals, and the families of White House staffers.
The company Wells Wood Turning reached out to the White House in February, reminding them that the deadline for the traditional wooden eggs was approaching. In the end, all of the requested eggs were delivered.
The White House expected over 21,000 adults and children for the Easter Egg Roll. While in previous years, many stars and famous people have attended the event, this year the event featured military bands, a pop band called Boy4, and the Martin Family Circus.
Mrs. Trump, who thoroughly researched the event, decided to do a more traditional approach to the egg roll. Several Easter Bunnies were there, as was the Sesame Street character Elmo. The DC United Soccer team did demonstrations during the event, which was in recognition of First Son Barron’s love of soccer.
However, one tradition seemed to be abandoned. The White House did not allocate tickets to the military, which usually receives 3,000, or to D.C. public schools, which usually receive 4,000, according to Salon. This led to a drastic decrease in the diversity of the people attending the Easter Egg Roll. Salon noted that all evidence appeared to point to an event that was hastily thrown together at the last minute.
The First Lady made a stop at the reading nook so she could read “Party Animals,” written by Kathy Lee Gifford. The book celebrates the differences of each animal and shows how they are alike at the same time. According to CNN, Mrs. Trump said, “I really like the book because it shows that we are all different but we are all the same.” White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer and Attorney General Jeff Sessions also read children’s classics at the nook.
The White House Easter Egg Roll has a long history. In 1876, Ulysses Grant signed a law that made the Easter Egg Roll illegal. However, Rutherford B. Hayes resumed the event in 1878, and the event continues today. The Easter Egg Roll is always a big event for the First Lady and her staff. Generally, it is the first big production put on by the First Lady and showcases the White House to the general public.
While things may not have gotten off to the smoothest start, in the end Melania Trump and her staff were able to pull together a passable Easter Egg Roll.