One of the many things I love about Andre Chreky salon’s 16th and K Street location in the heart of downtown DC is our proximity to the White House. Every year, as Easter rolls around, I look forward to taking a little break from my busy Monday morning to take a peek at the annual White House Easter Egg Roll. I love watching all of the children – many dressed in their Easter finery – racing around the White House lawn, baskets bumping at their hips, while they race after colorful eggs. This year, Easter comes early and the event will be held on Monday, March 28 and I’m already counting the days.
The White House East Egg Roll has been taking place since 1878 – nearly 140 years! Originally, the city’s young residents would flock to Capitol Hill for a day of egg rolling and family events. Members of Congress (a prickly crew, even back then) grew tired of the crowds and passed an Act of Congress prohibiting the event on the Capitol grounds – I wonder if there is an Easter equivalent of “Scrooge?” President Rutherford B. Hayes kindly offered the White House lawn as an alternative venue for the event.
Today, the Easter Egg Roll has grown from a few local kiddies rolling eggs to the largest event held at the White House annually; it is now focused on active, healthy living for children 13 years of age and younger. The day is filled with live entertainment, sports, healthy-cooking demonstrations, and yes – the traditional rolling of the eggs.
Because the event is so popular, admission is granted on a lottery basis, although access is free-of-charge. If you missed this year’s lottery, don’t despair. You can do what I do – enjoy the festivities from outside the White House fence.