White House resumes Easter Egg Roll tradition

'Tonight Show' host Jimmy Fallon, singer Ciara, and actress Kristin Chenoweth added a dash of star power to the event that dates back to 1878

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Despite rain clouds and drizzle, President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden hosted the first White House Easter Egg Roll since before the coronavirus pandemic on Monday.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken and his daughter were among the 30,000 children and adults to join the traditional event.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken takes part in the annual White House Easter Egg Roll on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington. AFP

Tonight Show host Jimmy Fallon, singer Ciara and actress-singer Kristin Chenoweth added a dash of star power to the event that dates to 1878.

“My job is to keep it from raining for another two minutes,” Fallon said in opening remarks on the South Lawn.

The theme for the day was “egg-ucation.” The first lady, a community college professor, turned the South Lawn into a school community with a variety of educational stations.

“The determined spirit of education is what we wanted to honour in this Easter Egg Roll,” Mrs Biden said.

The coronavirus pandemic forced the White House to cancel the Easter Egg Roll in 2020 and 2021. But the event is back as the number of coronavirus cases, hospital emergencies and deaths has eased.

“This year we’re finally getting together again, and it’s so special,” Mr Biden said.

More than two dozen costumed characters were on hand, including Dr Seuss’ The Cat in the Hat, the Racing Presidents mascots for the Washington Nationals of Major League Baseball, Rosita and Cookie Monster from Sesame Street, and Snoopy and Charlie Brown, among others.

The Associated Press contributed to this report

Updated: April 19, 2022, 10:05 PM