White House Easter Egg Roll
March 15, 2013

Easter is a wonderful time of year for everyone who loves eggs, including the First family! The White House Easter Egg Roll is a tradition that dates back to 1878. Originally, young children in Washington, DC, would flock to Capitol Hill every Monday after Easter for egg rolling and a day of activities. It wasn’t always held of the White House, though. Members of Congress grew tired of the growing crowds and passed an Act of Congress prohibiting egg rolling on the Capitol grounds. The event was moved to the White House in 1878 after President Hayes was approached by young children to use his backyard to roll eggs. Nearly every Easter since, the White House has invited young children to roll eggs on the White House lawn.

Today, the Easter Egg Roll has grown from a few local children rolling eggs on the White House lawn to become the largest event held at the White House, filled with live entertainment, sports and interactive cooking demonstrations. And, of course, the traditional rolling of the Easter eggs.

What exactly is egg rolling, you ask? The egg roll itself is a race where children push an egg through the grass with a long-handled spoon. The eggs are hardboiled and decorated before the roll. If you choose to participate in your own Egg Roll at home this year, it is important to remember these steps while decorating your eggs:

  1. Wash your hands and your working area thoroughly at every step of preparing, including cooking, cooling and dyeing of eggs.
  2. Refrigerate hard-cooked eggs if you won’t be coloring them right after cooking and cooling.
  3. Color only un-cracked eggs. If any eggs crack during dyeing or while on display, discard them.
  4. If you keep hard-cooked eggs out of refrigeration for many hours or several days for a decoration or for hiding, either discard the eggs that have been left out or use them only for display.
  5. Refrigerate them again right after you dye them, after you display them or hide them.

For more information on this year’s White House Easter Egg Roll, go to http://www.whitehouse.gov/eastereggroll.