The White House Easter Egg Roll is a legacy event coveted by parents and children alike, and one of the highlights of the Easter season in the Washington, D.C. area. The Easter Egg Roll will make its return in 2022 after a two-year hiatus thanks to COVID.
If a 2021 photo op is any indication, First Lady Jill Biden will be reversing one decision by predecessor Melania Trump that was seemingly “controversial” enough to deserve a callout in Trump-era press secretary Stephanie Grisham’s tell-all book released late last year.
Biden admin bringing back White House Easter Egg Roll after 2-year COVID-19 hiatus https://t.co/v3Kr0OqDgr
— Fox News (@FoxNews) April 10, 2022
Melania Trump Easter Bunny ‘Controversy’
In “I’ll Take Your Questions Now,” Grisham details an incident where she says the Easter Bunny himself was forced to “strip” at the command of none other than First Lady Melania Trump.
While this incident “exposed” by Grisham and also reported by The Hill sounds rather nefarious – especially when set in the context of a children’s event – the truth of it is quite vanilla.
As the full story goes, the fashionable former First Lady and the Easter Bunny did not see eye to eye when it came to event attire. As such, Melania requested the Easter Bunny remove its vest before greeting the children at the Easter Egg Roll in 2017.
What a sordid, shameful secret indeed!
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The spectacle of it was even captured by the national media. I should warn you, the Easter Bunny’s naked form in the Fox Business tweet below may be too shocking for some viewers. Please use discretion when viewing or sharing.
Also please remember, Melania is European – they are a little more liberal when it comes to nudity.
— FOX Business (@FoxBusiness) April 17, 2017
Melania, however, is no stranger to attacks. Remember when Bette Midler got hammered for mocking Melania Trump and calling her an ‘illegal alien’?
While Melania axed the vest, FLOTUS Jill Biden wholeheartedly embraced the Easter Bunny’s former fashion and even added a coordinating mask (of course!) during a brief photo op in 2021.
President Joe Biden waves with @FLOTUS Jill Biden and the Easter bunny while delivering remarks regarding Easter, on the South Lawn of the White House on April 5, 2021. The traditional Easter Egg Roll was not held due to the coronavirus pandemic. Photo by Michael Reynolds/UPI pic.twitter.com/COJFrWkLMC
— UPI Photos (@UPIPhotos) April 5, 2021
Of course, some might say that vest is iconic. Check out this throwback photo from the Clinton administration. The White House Easter Bunny is wearing that same worn-looking maroon vest all the way back in 1998.
24 years ago today, the White House Easter Egg Roll was “cybercast over the Internet” for the very first time. It took place on the South Lawn from 10am-2pm and was for children between the ages of three and six. https://t.co/RSwzlMCqpg #EasterEggRoll pic.twitter.com/eWuHQFNLJR
— WH Easter Egg Roll (@wheastereggroll) April 13, 2022
The History of the White House Easter Egg Roll
For the history buffs among us, the history of this event is actually pretty cool.
Back in the 1870’s, children enjoyed rolling eggs down Capitol Hill on Easter Monday. As the event’s popularity grew so did the crowds. Enough so that the event took a toll on the beauty of the Capitol grounds.
Congress took action and passed a law in 1876 which forbids the Capitol grounds from being used as a playground.
President Rutherford B. Hayes, having fathered 8 children of his own, was apparently sympathetic to the plight of these outcast children.
In 1878, the 19th President of the United States invited children to come roll their Easter eggs at the White House. And so the annual tradition was born which carries on to this day, nearly 150 years later.
The 2022 White House Easter Egg Roll
The annual event has only continued to grow in popularity through the years. Event attendance is governed by a lottery.
The 2022 White House Easter Egg Roll will take place on April 18. The ticket lottery for the 2022 event closed March 31.
I fully expect you will see the Easter Bunny emerge once again in his signature maroon vest if Jill Biden has anything to say about it.
In addition to the traditional egg roll, there will be games, live entertainment, and activities for the whole family on the South Lawn. Past special guests include Fifth Harmony, Newsies, Jordin Sparks, Austin Mahone, Coco Jones, Sesame Street, and The Wanted.
For those of you not as interested in pop music, here is a fun throwback photo from a very special guest appearance in 1927.
— Michael Beschloss (@BeschlossDC) December 20, 2021
Interestingly, the WhiteHouse.gov information page for this year’s Easter Egg roll includes no mention of Trump-era events.
The ‘Through The Years’ section reads, “Take a hop back in time and view the Easter Egg Roll pages from whitehouse.gov from the Clinton, Bush and Obama years (1993-2016).”
However, the ‘History Of The White House Egg Roll’ section is up-to-date enough to include this more recent reference:
The Easter Egg Roll was cancelled in 2020 and 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Curious what it’s like to attend the White House Easter Egg Roll? Here is over an hour of footage from the 2019 event hosted by Donald and Melania Trump. As you can see, the Easter Bunny appeared in all his naked glory in 2019 as well. Those poor children!
You can learn more about this popular Easter tradition on the White House Historical Association’s website.