White House

White House Adds Fun Run to Annual Easter Egg Roll

More than 35,000 people received tickets that allow them to walk on the South Lawn of the White House, rain or shine

Calling the moment bittersweet, President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama welcomed thousands of children to the South Lawn of the White House Monday morning for the final Easter Egg Roll of his presidency.

The egg rolling began in 1878. Now the event includes storytelling, musical performances and tips from professional athletes on how to play basketball, tennis and other sports. There are even cooking demonstrations and yoga. This year, the first lady added a fun run to the mix.

"I'm going to be running around the White House with a bunch of kids and any adults who feel like they can hang," the first lady told the crowd as the president jokingly signaled in the background that the run wasn't for him.

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Fortunately, the sun broke through mid-morning after a night of scattered rain showers.

In the afternoon, the White House was on a heightened security alert after a gunman fired shots in the U.S. Capitol complex. The Secret Service took a routine, precautionary measure of closing the north and south fence lines of the White House complex, but activities on the South Lawn continued as normal. In an unrelated incident, one woman attending the Easter Egg Roll was arrested after trying to move a security barrier erected for the occasion, the Secret Service said.

The theme of this year's event is "Let's celebrate." The first lady said she wanted to celebrate families and the nation in what will be the couple's last Easter in office.

"It's our diversity. It's our values," the first lady said. "That's what makes us strong."
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The fun run is intended to highlight the first lady's "Let's Move!" initiative, which focuses on reducing childhood obesity. She also promised dancing: "We've got a little 'whip' and a little 'nae nae' or however you do it," she said, providing a brief example of how the dance is done.
Copyright AP - Associated Press
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