President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump hosted their first White House Easter Egg Roll, amidst recent doubts the event would even take place.
— Melania Trump (@FLOTUS) April 14, 2017
With weather being overcast and cool on Monday, the Trumps welcomed children and their families from across the nation to partake in the 139-year tradition, with crowds approaching 20,000 people expected. About 200 volunteers – a fifth of the normal number – staffed the event.
Guests participated in activities beyond the egg rolling itself, including an egg hunt, decorating cookies, writing letters to U.S. troops, participating in a Minecraft coding activity with volunteers from Microsoft, and characters such as the Easter Bunny and Sesame Street’s Elmo.
Addressing the crowd, the President thanked the crowds and the soldiers deployed around the globe.
“We will be stronger and bigger and better as a nation than ever before and we are right on track…. Thanks you everybody for coming. We’re going to do cards for soldiers. Melania and Barron and myself are going to sign some cards for some great troops… We’re going come out and join you… for a great Easter egg roll.”
The first lady also addressed the participants, saying it was the “first time my husband and I are hosting this wonderful tradition. It’s great that all of you are here with us today. I want to thank the military band, staff and all the volunteers who worked tirelessly to make sure you enjoy the activities.”
At 10:30 AM, as a slight rain slowed to a drizzle, the Trumps joined scores of children waiting to begin.
“I’ve seen those kids and they’re highly, highly competitive,” the president said.
How important is President Trump’s Easter Egg Roll? This year Mark Halperin was on site as well as the usual morning show hosts including the Today Show’s Al Roker.
— Mark Halperin (@MarkHalperin) April 17, 2017