WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump received on Monday more than 30,000 guests at the White House for the 141st annual Easter Egg Roll.
The celebration gave thousands of boys and girls their place as the most important people at the Executive Mansion, allowed to play all day the game of finding colored eggs hidden in the bushes around the large White House yard.
Whoever found one of the colored eggs had to roll it to the finish line with the help of a wooden spoon and then he or she could keep it.
“This is 141 years that we’ve been doing this. I don’t remember the first one, but the last three years we’ve had an awfully good time,” Trump joked on the Truman Balcony where he was accompanied by the first lady and a smiling Easter Bunny, as he welcomed the thousands of families that since 7:00 am had lined up to be able to play on the South Lawn of the White House.
Trump publicly thanked his wife Melania for taking care of the organizing: “She worked so hard on this event, and without her, it would not be like it is. It’s as beautiful as I’ve ever seen it. So Melania, thank you very much, you did a fantastic job. Thank you, honey.”
Before the whistle that kicked off the Easter egg hunt, Trump used the occasion to tout his leadership of the United States:
“Our country is doing fantastically well. Probably the best it’s ever done economically. We’re setting records on stock markets. We’re setting records with jobs,” Trump said,
“Regulations, low taxes, our country has never done better,” he added. “And do we love our military? Our military is literally being completely rebuilt. We are completely rebuilding our military. It was very depleted, as you know.”
After the speech, the couple left the balcony to meet the guests, chat and have their photos taken.
Then Melania played the storyteller before a group of boys and girls, while her husband helped other children color cards to be sent through a special mailbox to troops on duty.
It was then that one of the boys became the subject of the anecdote of the day when he asked Trump about building the wall on the US-Mexico border.
“Oh It’s happening. It’s being built now,” Trump answered.
“Here’s a young guy who said ‘Keep building that wall,’ can you believe that? He’s going to be a conservative some day,” the president told reporters.
Starting in 1878, Easter has been a children’s party at the White House. It was initiated by President Rutherford B. Hayes, when a group of youngsters approached the White House door one Easter Monday to ask if they could play there.
President Hayes told his guards to let the children play in the yard, since Congress had banned families from playing around the Capitol for fear they would damage the landscaping.