Chicago Sun-Times
The scoop from Washington

Obamas open up White House Easter Egg Roll with on-line tickets


WASHINGTON--First Lady Michelle Obama wants to open up the White House for everyone. She's doing it with the annual Easter Egg Roll. New rules from the White House Easter Egg Roll will allow out-of-towners to get tickets in advance and travel here for the April 13 event. The theme is "Let's go play!"

Under prior administrations, folks had to stand in line the weekend before to get tickets.

Now tickets will be distributed online. Check out beginning Thursday.

The day long egg roll is keyed towards children. "The White House will open the South Lawn to children age ten and under, along with their families, to enjoy sports, cooking classes, live musical performances, storytelling and the traditional Easter egg roll.

below, from the White House

News Release: Announcement of White House Easter Egg Roll and Public Ticket Process

The annual White House Easter Egg Roll will be held on Monday, April 13, 2009, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on the South Lawn of the White House.

For the first time, tickets for the Easter Egg Roll will be distributed online so that more children and families from across the United States have the opportunity to experience this event. Tickets will no longer be distributed on the Ellipse the weekend before the event. Tickets and more information about the ticketing process will be available through beginning on Thursday, March 26th.

This year's theme, 'Let's go play', encourages America's youth to lead healthy and active lives. The White House will open the South Lawn to children age ten and under, along with their families, to enjoy sports, cooking classes, live musical performances, storytelling and the traditional Easter egg roll.

All guests will enter the event from the Ellipse and will go through a security screening process.

For the most up-to-date information on the Easter Egg Roll and other public events at the White House, please call the Visitors Office 24-hour information line at (202) 456-7041. Media details will be released in the coming weeks.



I have been a regular attendee of the egg role for the last few years, and it has been enjoyed by my wife and little girl. I was hoping to attend this year, and was planning to do the all night wait for the tickets again. Which is always a blast. Camping out in front of the white house, How cool WAS that? Of course the Obama's know better about everything, and this includes changing this event too. BIG THANKS! THAT-A- BOY! Not like this message will mean anything, but there is a reason why the number of attendees and tickets were limited. Think about it? And the parks department did a great job in the distribution. One more CHANGE! I'll try and get tickets again for this year, but who's kidding who. The last Obama public event was full of scammers screwing the john public and it feels like it heading in that direction. The past egg role events were open to everyone not just the Obama online family of I-O-You's.

Nice going Mr and Mrs President.

For the person who is complaining about getting tickets online--shame on you. Just because you can camp out in front of the white house all night does not mean the rest of us can. I am a single parent with a 5 year old and we don't have that luxury. He didn't mention if he had his wife and daughter waiting all night long with him. I think it's a great idea, it gives kids that wouldn't otherwise have the opportunity to attend.
Thank you Mr. and Mrs. President

Yes, Mr. Galler, it's nice going by the President and First Lady. Finally those who don't live in the DC area or can't hire someone to stand in line for tickets have the opportunity to have their children participate. Do you have to make everything partisan and hate-filled?

Way to go Obama, has he ever been to the Elipse and seen how much fun it is. For a kid to camp in front of the White house that is something that will last for ever. We as a family would travel into DC the kids would go to the Museums with Mom, then we would eat Pizza together set up camp and wait. This year we had three familys in on our little trip. Ever year is always full of good family spirt, the Police and Parks Authority always ran it well. Well I guess he said it though "time for change". So who is going to regulate these "online Tickets" how do we know that the tickets are not going to his buddies who got him elected. This sucks for the everage Joe. And what if you cant get online when the tickets go out? I know I cant on the 26th I will be on my sons field trip. Disapointed.

Thanks Eric Galler , the truth has been spoken. I live in DC, when tickets for events here are distributed it goes to I-O-You's. I believe this is wrong. Even the swearing-in. I wanted to go but the restrictions were to much for me. I work across the street from the Capital (govt), how do you think I felt. I never thought I'd see in my life time a black President.(69) I guess up close will never happen. Well good luck to both of us. GREAT FAMILY THOUGH, GOOD LUCK MR.PRESIDENT

The above commenter obviously doesn't care that there are other families who do not live close to DC. Do my kids not deserve to spend Easter at the white house just because we can't stand in line overnight? No, I dont think so. The Obamas are trying to do a good thing--introduce more 'normal' families to things having to do with the presidency. Obama is the people's president and he and his family relate to everyday people. I think what they're doing is great and will certainly provide an unforgettable experience for lots of families who otherwise would not get to participate.

I felt like I had a chance with the old method of waiting in line all night. But based on my unsuccessful attempt at obtaining inaugural parade tickets, eventhough I was online at the precise time of availability. I never got through to purchase until all the tickets were gone. I feel I have a zero chance.

Wow ~ sounds like Eric thinks that families that don't live in the DC area, and therefore can't camp overnight for tickets, don't deserve a chance to attend.


Thank you for the CHANGE. Unlike 'some' tickets were not that easy to come-by. Opening the event to 'all' is the way it should be. I am quite certain tickets will be limited. Get in line Eric and let us HOPE you will luck up and receive tickets!

I am not happy about this online ticket deal. Unless you have access to a T-1, T-2, ISDN, or WWW2, you have no chance in hell of getting a ticket. How anyway will they "know" you are out of state? I got tickets last year, on the Monday of the Egg Roll. I am out of state, I am disabled, and I have an autistic child, SO, if you really wanted to go, you could in the past. This year is not fair or equitable. The internet is so anonymous, how do they "really know" who they are giving the tickets to? This year will be a scalping frenzy on Craigslist & Ebay. You you really think, someone from California, Silicone Valley, who has access to the fast hook ups and processin speed, will really make the trip, or will scalp it on ebay and make a quick grand?

Another way of the government trying to "improve" a system that didn't need change. Not all change is necessary or good!

I agree with Eric; I am a strong supporter of the Obamas but do not believe it was necessary to change this process. Like yourself Doris, I am a single mother; my daughter and I have made it a tradition to camp out to get tickets. We have done this in rain and snow along with several other families. As Americans we expect convenience and that everything should be handed to us with ease. I believe camping-out is not only awesome but a way to teach your kids about perseverance. With all the tickets scams from Hannah Montana to Inauguration, this is one less thing we should open-up to the internet scammers. I can assure you that the people that really want to go will not have the opportunity and that tickets will be available for sale on Ebay and craigslist.

So regardless Doris, none of us will make it this time.

If you think all you out-of-towners are going to get tickets through this process, you're kidding yourselves...unless you pay for them on ebay or craigslist. Do you realize that tickets companies large and small have computer programs, faster than you and I could, that can send an email to request (or purchase tickets if they're for sale) tickets which they turn around and sell. Some folks may get through, but not many and who knows "how many" they'll distrubute and how many they'll give to their pals. I'm an Obama fan, but come on, this isn't their brightest idea to date.

Having camped out since my baby was born (he will be 4 this year) I must say I am disappointed that this administration is breaking with tradition. My sister-in-law and I brave the elements (two years ago it snowed on us) in excess of 24 hours to ensure our kids get to experience the Easter Egg Roll at the White House. Not everything in Washington is broken, Mr. President. Some traditions will be missed.

And for those who say it opens it up to all - all it opens up is scalping. Who are we kidding? Tell me who can afford, 2 weeks out, to get tickets, make flight reservations, make hotel reservations (during Cherry Blossom season) and actually attend the event? Unless of course these are reserved for AIG executives...Truth be told, now I'm going to have to buy tickets for this "free" event from some person in on E-bay. I guess this is one way to stimulate the economy Mr. President.

Thanks you Mr. President and Mrs. Obama for thinking of this ideal of letting everyone across the USA having a chance to get tickets. I understand from the other comments that they perfer to camp out, but they must understand that other persons would love to have the chance of getting tickets. If this is the only way I have a chance, I am for it. Eric, since you being going in the past and possible getting in, I believe you could sit this year out and let someone like me and my family get a chance to come and have a lifetime memory of this event. I will be sitting by computer waiting and praying that me and my family will have that opportunity to get tickets. Again, Thanks Mr. President and Mrs. Obama for changing things. CHANGE IS A GOOD THING!!!!!!!!

Thanks Mr. President and Mrs. Obama for thinking of this ideal of letting everyone across the USA get a chance to get tickets. Eric, since you love the ideal of camping out, and possibly getting tickets every year for this event, I think you and your family should sit this year out and let me and my family get a chance to get tickets. I would love for me and my family to have a lifetime memory of this event. I will be sitting and praying by my computer, hoping that me and my family get tickets, and a chance to come to DC for a visit. A change is a good thing. As Mr. President quoted,
" IT'S TIME FOR A CHANGE". Again, thanks Mr. President and Mrs. Obama for letting families like mines have a chance for a lifetime memory.

Durham, NC

Is it ok again to say "Easter"?

I'm wondering about those of us who are local but who have out of town guests scheduled to visit for Easter. What if my family gets tickets and my sister and her family who will be visiting us don't get tickets? Or what if my family gets tickets timed for 9 am and my sister's family gets tickets timed for 4 pm? At least with camping out, our out of town guests were already here and we could be in line together and get tickets timed together.

And I'm worried that tickets will be snatched up quickly online before "regular" folks can get them.

keep the tickets...just don't unpack your bags...please.

I want to believe this will be a upstanding process with little people really being able to participate. We changed our whole vacation around being in DC for the Easter Egg Roll. Please if you horders are reading this, please don't do, let us ordinary folks get a chance of a lifetime.

I am extremely disappointed with this so called CHANGE. I am tired of people thinking there needs to be change, when in actuality, there doesnt need to be. I enjoyed camping out with my family and getting tickets. I too am a single parent and loved being able to celebrate this experience with my son and sisters family. I am disappointed that now people will manipulate the computer systems and get all the tickets and scalp them. Or, out of town people will try to get them and there will be so many wasted because they dont come or need all the tickets they get and they wont be able to give them away like you could if you were here. This was definately NOT something that needed change.

These comments are ridiculous. Obama will never make everyone happy with his decision. For everyone who is happy about the online process there will be those who are disappointed that they can't camp out. There is no way to make everyone happy. If you find that this process does not work out, then complain to get the process improved/changed for next year.

At first (quick) glance, this seems like a good idea. I, for one, have never been able to camp out for tickets, though I would have liked to.

Unfortunately, there is zero accountability here. At least when people camped out, we knew that average people were getting in. Maybe it wasn't available nationwide, but there are a lot of nationally funded events/venues that aren't available to me because of geography.

Whether intentional or not (and I won't speculate as to the Obama's motives), this system allows the ability to hide who truly is receiving these tickets.

I would love to take my daugher and granddaughter to the Easter Egg Roll. This will be the frist time for them and a wonderful experience, so how do you go about getting the tickets.Single mom want my girls to be there.

I am also a close resident here in Baltimore. I have been lucky to attend the last two years and camped out for the first time last year. I had so much fun that I have been planning it again this year. I sent out mass emails to friends and family across the US. Even planned to spend the night in a hotel on Thursday night to be closer in the morning. I am so disappointed that my kids will miss out on this opportunity to camp out and I think it was good intentions to open up the tickets online. Maybe next year, we can all suggest to open a limited number online but still maintain tradition of camping out as well.

ok i have been to the site since 4:30 am today and there is nothing on the site! Good luck and congrats to whomever got the tickets!

I would like to get tickets for the WHITE HOUSE EGG ROLL. I would truly like to take my son who is now 3 years old.

I think it is nice that someone in the White House is thinking about TRYING to reach people outside of the VA/DC/MD area. I am right here and there is NO WAY I could ever get those tickets with the "camp out" process. This is a chance for everyone to get a fair shake. See all of YOU who camp out year after year after year after year after year take away any chance for someone else to get in there and get a once in a lifetime chance at the White House Easter Egg Roll. I truly believe if there are families ANYWHERE in this country who get the tickets because they really want to come then they WILL find a way to get here. Unlike those of you repeaters, these families will be happy with the ONE visit! I don't believe you folks who say you can't be online to get the tickets. If you really want this sooooooooo bad, you'll get online. Those of you complaining about your guests not going when you go, get over it! As long as your family gets to go AND your guests, who cares when all of you go? If it is separate times, then be happy you can be home and "clean up" or just rest before they get back. THose of you saying this will allow for scammers and scalpers, do you really think the white house folks are really that stupid?? I would bet my next 5 paychecks that you will have to provide much info on yourself and the kids you wish to bring. They will then 'barcode" your tickets that they email to you and YOU will have to prove who you are before you and the kids go in. Get real! This is just a bunch of people looking for nothing good---just ways to complain over the least little things...

i have been "camping out" in fornt of my computer since 3 is now 7:40 am...still much for your change...

There is nothing as spectacular as camping in front of the white house. The moon, the memorials it is fantastic. As a family kids included we have done it for years, even in snow . Actually our boys who are now 7 are disapointed about not being able to camp in DC. We are not from DC we travel just for this event. I put in vacation to make a trip of it. In fact a lot of people we have talked to in the past are from out of area. With a line there is accountability. Its was a fair system you know that with a little work you will get a ticket, now any scalper out there can sit at home and click away with no work involved. We as a society are becoming to lazy and want the easy way out. If it wasnt broke, leave it be Obama

I feel that the people that dont want tickets to be purchase online are just bunch of hippies!

I am all for Obama but I must say this idea is not good. Why fix something that wasn't broke. No matter were you are in the world or what your situation is if you wanted to take your kids to this event you would make it happen. That's what parents do, no excuses. I was looking forward to camping out this year for the first time. Now I just hope I get tickets. There is no time listed when they are available. I can't believe Obama didn't think of all the poor people who don't have computers. So all you people complaining how do you think they feel. Then the ones who will sell them online. That's just sick, but it will happen. People need to look at the big picture and not just think of themselves. Good luck everyone.

Mom In MD had it right.

The campout on the Ellipse was a social event that in some years was better than the Roll itself.

Thousands of tickets will likely be distributed and unused, as transportation and lodging are at a premium in DC this time of year. Thousands more will be sold to the highest bidder.

On-line distribution is fair? Tell that to the large number of DC residents who don't own computers. A city that is nearly 80 percent African American will not have a fair shake in experiencing Easter Monday at the White House of the first African American president.

Because there will be many more tickets distributed than in the past, you can rest assured that you will not only have a designated entrance time to the event, but a designated exit time as well. Previously, once on the grounds, you could remain as long as you wanted. That won't be the case this year. They'll likely provide colored wristbands that represent a timed exit threshold.

The president could have introduced effective change to this process that would have allowed anyone in the country with the true desire to attend the opportunity to attend. That is, distribution from the Ellipse field office on Good Friday morning, rather than several weeks in advance. Anyone in the country wishing to attend will make their travel plans well in advance, AND, would surely be one of the first groups in line on Holy Thursday.

But this new president seems to think any change is good change. Think again Mr. President. Get it right for 2010.

I am hoping that this change will allow my sister's twins (who will be 3 on April 20, 2009) the opportunity to get tickets to the Easter Egg Roll. When we brought the twins to the White House gate to show them where President Obama and Family lived the twins started crying. They said " I want to go inside President Obama's house". We had to tell the twins that the President and Family were not home. Therefore, I believe to register online will give the twins an opportunity to participate and to see that President Obama truly does live at the White House.

There is no pleasing for some people. No matter what the situation is, there are some who ALWAYS find negativity. Please take a look at yourselves..stop COMPLAINING. There are so many people less fortunate than those of you who've had the opportunity to attend the Easter Egg Roll in the past. Be thankful for your experience and move on.

Well what a suprise, all you who thought this was a good idea. Tee server by 9am was fried. But if you looked on ebay you could buy a set of six from a guy in Fort Lauderdale for $700. I mangaged to get on at 0830hrs EST and there was no tickets left. So was this an excersise on what dosnt work. !!!

Well what a suprise, all you who thought this was a good idea. Tee server by 9am was fried. But if you looked on ebay you could buy a set of six from a guy in Fort Lauderdale for $700. I mangaged to get on at 0830hrs EST and there was no tickets left. So was this an excersise on what dosnt work. !!!

Thank you Mr. Gallagher, you just said what every devotee of the Easter Egg Roll was the others, maybe you should just stay home and watch it on TV since it has been such an inconvenience in the past for you. My family and I had plans already to get in line and camp out as well, including rotation of restroom breaks and purchases of sleeping bags and a tent. Thank you for sticking to the 'Change' campaign.

I am thrilled I don't have to wait in line for these tickets. Spring weather is so unpredictable and usually cold. I was born and raised in DC and have had the opportunity to wait in line and didn't want to. Change is good thank you Obamas for giving everyone a chance. See you at the egg roll!

Anyone who thinks that ticket distribution will be more equitable because of on-line methods is delusional. The White House is using a little known vendor called Frontgate, if Live Nation and Ticketmaster were unable to accomodate millions of fans for Springsteen and Phish, how will a small operation provide tickets to the entire U.S. I am trying to access the tickets site now, but it is obvious that the system for tickets has already crashed. I guess it is Time for Change! Next time lets think it all the way through and actually provide a working alternative!

i've never been to the roll, though my husband and daughter have (he sat out in the wee hours of the morning before going to work.) right now, i have been trying to get through online -- my son was not born when they went to the roll, and my daughter will age out after this year -- and i feel like i'm in an endless death spiral, as it never clicks through to the page. this is worse than trying to get springsteen tickets.

i understand that doing this online gives out-of-towners an opportunity to try for the tickets; but i fear that people who know how to work the system (meaning unscrupulous ticket scalpers) are working the system as i type. and what's worse, they will gouge people for the otherwise free tickets -- and those people, especially out-of-towners vacationing in our city -- will pay through the nose for them.

at least when people camped out, you were assured there were mostly regular families getting the tickets. now, i'm not actually sure that will happen.

in truth, i suspect plenty of the people attending in the past have been local people. but rest assured, we have "regular" families who live here all around the metro area. some of the posters above have assumed that we are all a bunch of politicos. we are not. our kids go to public schools; they play t-ball and go to cub scouts just like yours do in the heartland. do not assume because we live in an area that is a major tourist destination that we should be deprived of something happening in our neck of the woods. yes, i am glad that people from all over have the opportunity to go to the roll. but don't assume we are all beltway bandits.

nevertheless, i'm not sure this is the way to go.

Have the event on the Mall and let everyone come. Getting tickets online is wasting my day and annoying me.

There is absolutely no way to get these tickets online... if people are willing to camp out at the WH all night then they more than deserve to get the tickets...this online thing is a total waste of time....please go back to the traditional way..its the best way and a blast camping out with friends and family!

I just got our tickets!! I've been online since 4 am but I just got tickets for my family! We live in MD but we have never been able to afford to take off work to come stand in line at the White House so it has never been an option for us. This year it is...I'm so excited my daughters will be able to participate!

I must say I am really shocked by some of the statements made above. Are you really afraid of change. Trying to get tickets on-line can be just as exciting as camping out all night for them. Just because you camp out doesn't mean you'll get a ticket.
On a positive note, I was on-line this morning and was able to get tickets. I was able to get through numerous times and get tickets for family and friends.
Good Luck to all those who have gotten tickets or are trying.

I have spent the past 4 hours trying to get tickets online. I have my entire extended family trying to get tickets online. My son has attended every year since he was born. Some of you think that's unfair. I choose to live here to give him those opportunities. I put in for vacation to ensure I can camp out and "pay the price" to allow him the joy of attending the Easter Egg Roll. I camp out for over 36 hours to ensure I'm in the early group.

Now, apparently, I have to buy tickets for hundreds of dollars from some guy in Nevada who runs a ticket service. I spent an hour on hold with Front Gate and finally got an operator to just listen - I called the White House - I encouraged both of them to go out to Ebay and Craig's List - because now - these FREE tickets are going to cost me. Way to stimulate the economy, Mr. President.

Mad Mom in Maryland

I just can't believe that someone got the tickets already. I am with computer for few hours but I still don't see any button to apply tickets. Can anyone tell me what's going on?
is it really on-line distribution?

I'm from Nevada and was flying in to take my kids there...I have been since I was a kid, but all you had to do previously was wait in a big long line for 4-6 hours and almost everyone got in and tickets couldn't be scalped. And if you didn't have a kid with you, you didn't get in! This way people without kids who just want to make a buck will get them and sell them on eBay in April (when they actually get the tickets)...this is so unfair...

Why was waiting in line bad???? At least it was fair

so thoose of you that thought this was a good idea. How many of you honestly have ticketss? Thought so not so much huh? You saw how Springstein tickets went, and that was by ticket master, not some small two bit company. Oh well , some of you are right we went,we put in the effort stood in line in the snow & rain. Why didnt you , oh right that would require effort, which is slowly disappearing from this great country. Here have another candy bar,dont get up let somebody else do the work

im so proud to try and get tickets to the white house for my grand childrens to attend the easter egg roll they have never seen the white house ever . please can we get some tickets. thank you very much

I planned my "once in a lifetime" DC vacation around the hope that I could take my 7 year old to this event. I also stayed up very late and have worked on it all morning. I think it is great for people around the country to have a chance to attend other than just the local people. And as for the gentleman who says it discriminates against the black people around DC(who probably have had the opportunity to go in years past) I thought that we were trying to have a united nation without race boundries, why does it always go back to that? Anyway, good luck to everyone, except the ones that would try to sell on ebay!!!!!

To Tandy In Bama:

I did not infer that the system discriminates against BLACK people. I suggested that the system discriminates against those unfortunate enough to not be able to afford a computer. I merely reminded people that Washington DC is overwhelmingly African American. I have been to several Egg Rolls, under Clinton and Bush, and the crowd is overwhelmingly WHITE! I've also attended inagruations going back to Nixon, and they too were disproportionately WHITE! That is, until this year, where the crowd was disproportionately African American. So those persons living in DC, who never attended the Roll in the past, seem to have a more vested interest given we have an African American President. It stands to reason they will seek tickets in greater numbers, save for those who live mere blocks from the White House in run down rowhouses, who count on the public schools to feed their kids breakfast, and who can't even use the public library's computer because tickets sold out before they opened AND they need a verifiable email address to complete the transaction. Yeah, it's a shame they won't be able to attend, given their prowess for standing in lines (unemployement lines, welfare lines etc)

A first come, first serve, camp out as long as necessary system that distributes physical tickets 2 days prior to the event is the most Democratic method possible. Those such as yourself who are motivated to attend will arrive in time and be handed tickets to attend. The day isn't over and people all over the country are selling tickets on E-Bay! Your statement about only local people attending is ludicrous. As I said in the previous posting, the camp out on the Ellipse is often more entertaining than the Roll itself. You meet people from all over the country. Motivated people who travelled great distance and stood in line like everyone else.

I wonder how many work hours were wasted today by people who live across the country who are trying to get tickets for an event they may or may not actually end up going to. I don't think people who live in another state are any more likely to have the ability to come here for this event. Hotels are expensive, plus airfare and spending money. I don't understand what was wrong with having the people who wanted the chance to see the Easter Egg Roll come and camp out with everybody else who lives here.

To H L B:

You are incorrect. When camping out, the National Park Service would tell people way down the line on the 15th Street side of the Ellipse that they were taking their chances on not getting tickets. There was "soft" end of line that ticket seekers could choose to risk.

"Trying to get tickets on line can be as fun as camping out" ???? Yeah right. That's laughable. One is a social event with a guarantee of tickets. The other is an exercise in frustration and futility (and eventually, fraud)

Enjoy the roll. Then again, you enjoy "on-line" so much, why not just stream it to your computer and give me your tickets?

I've been online all morning attempting. Got into the actual ticket site where you choose amount of kids/adults and BOTH times, not to mention it is so slow and keeps timing out, that no matter which ticket amount I picked it stated We were not able to find that many tickets in that section. WTH???? I really want my granddaughter to attend and will keep trying but as with most sites, when there is a big demand for tickets, the site can't handle the traffic.

I have been trying to get tickets literally all day. When you can get through, the server either can't process your request and ultimately dumps you, or it tells you every single section of every single time period is sold out. Then it doesn't let you get back on. My daughter is 4 and I had been telling her about this even since we moved to DC. Now, because of another misguided and ham-handed attempt at "fairness" by the Obama administration, I am going to have to go home and tell her we can't go after all. On the other hand, all sorts of people all over the country who were lucky enough to get tickets will likely not travel to DC to use them, and the tickets on ebay are already in the hundreds of dollars. Great work Obama. Change for change's sake is simply idiotic. The administration looks like it's simply flailing around in pretty much every arena now.

I got four tickets at 2:15pm! I have been on the pc all day! Keep trying!

I have had the chance to spend the night in the rain and snow. The National Park Service has been really great watching over us in the past,however ,I think we need to think a little bit out of the box on this one....remember how many people turned up for the swearing in? I think the President was well advised and safety is a great concern here. I understand that we get disappointed because we can't all get tickets ,but hey let's remember there are people that are going hungry ,losing their homes and are in shelters if they are lucky. Our children are young and they'll love us whether or not we get tickets. Remember someone needs to pay for all the people that work on staying there all night..and that would be ...taxpayers.

how much are the tickets?

I got some tickets and I m a MD resident. I did have to keep trying for about 5 hrs...

My friends and I was very disappointed going on line trying to get tickets. We stayed on the website all day. We all agreed that we should celebrate the White House Easter egg roll the original way. The new way is a disaster. We would like to know who received tickets? We all love you dearly Mr. President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama. Receiving tickets in line is the better way to celebrate the Easter Egg Roll with our First Family. God Bless You And God Bless America. We Love You.

Work all computer at home...No chance for tickets for my kids.
Shame on politicians.

I would have loved to received tickets for my grandson's . However I have been trying since 12:00am this morning to no avai, I have not been successful. I guess, the PTB, had to get theirs first. It's ok, somethings you justkinda wish would change.

I have been trying to get tickets since the crack of dawn this morning and have failed, I have been online all day and still no luck, I feel its a good idea but please post it on the website if there are no more tickets available so I can stop trying!!!!

Dear President Obama,

Three years in a row, I chose to take a day of vacation, camped out on the ellipse with other dedicated parents, to ensure my son a spot at the White House Easter Egg Roll. This year, I awoke at 12:01 a.m. Thursday, March 26, 2009, constantly checking your site refreshing every minute or so awaiting information on getting the tickets. At 8:00 a.m., I began being placed in a holding room, told to "Chill". About 10 times, I actually got to make a choice, number of tickets, time of entry - only to be dropped by a server time out. I called The White House to let them know that tickets are being sold on craigs list and on ebay. I called Front Gate Solutions to let them know they're server wasn't working and that these "FREE" tickets are now being sold on the aforementioned websites. I have refreshed and tried for the past 17 hours to abide by these new "inclusionary" rules. And yet I am left with nothing.

What you have created is an aftermarket. There are companies designed to swoop in and snatch up all available tickets. They have T1 servers and bots and an endless supply of emails to capture each and every one of the over 18,000 tickets you're distributing. And you know what I'm going to have to do? I'm going to have to now BUY one of these FREE tickets to ensure my son gets the attend for his 4th year. It's a tradition in my family. And I'm going to do whatever I can to not break it.

It used to be the cost was my commitment - I would schedule vacation a year in advance, pack up a week in advance, show up in the wee hours of the morning and typically sat about 3rd or 4th in line. You make friends when you camp out - it's an incredible experience. One that I will miss dearly. I would camp out in excess of 36 hours to ensure we had an early morning admission - the 8:15 to 8:30 group. And I would do all of this because it was important to me. Because it mattered. Because I was willing to put in the time and effort necessary to give my son the opportunity to go to the White House Lawn once a year and just have fun.

But you have taken all of that away from me. I don't stand a chance when I'm up against ticket brokers who are now making an aftermarket. I can refresh (and will) until midnight tonight, but I can already see the writing on the wall. I'm going to have to PAY for three tickets. To ensure my son's happiness. It's going to cost me my hard earned money all because you thought you were being fair.

You're not being fair to me. Or to my little boy. His name is Tommy Behrens and his picture ran on the AP last year rolling an egg at the White House. I would attach it if I could -

I know this will never receive a response nor will it probably be read. But I just wanted someone to know - not everything is broken in Washington - some traditions should be left alone.

Mom in Maryland

As a single mother of a 7 year old girl that doesn't live in DC I feel that the online ticket process give people like me the opportunity to even dream of attending the event. True, I have not been able to grab any of the tickets, BUT there was no chance I was going to be able to get one of the tickets by standing in line with my little girl in the cold weather. Some of us have other responsibilities to attend and don't have the luxury to spend a whole evening standing for some tickets.
For the people that complain about change, sorry, you either accommodate to the changing times or you get hurt in the process. Even my 85 year old father now uses the internet! I know I'll never change your mind, but I had to add my two cents.

My Friends and I stayed on the website all day trying to get tickets. We all agreed the better way to receive the Easter Egg Roll tickets are the original way. We suggest you take in consideration implementing the original way giving tickets to the people. This on-line idea was a disaster. We enjoyed waiting in line, playing with our children, conversing with people while waiting for our tickets. It was the beginning of a fun day. The way to handle this disaster is giving back this day a fun day for the people.
We love you Mr. President Obama and First Lady Michelle and we thank you for giving our suggestion a little of your time and attention.
God Bless You And God Bless America

I think this online thing is a joke i have been ifront of the computer since 7:30 am and its now 6pm and still cant get trough..upset abot it..

I am so annoyed with everyone saying "oh I have a kid, Im a single parent...blah blah blah..." So what, that just means that you dont want the tickets bad enough... Single parents can arrange someone else to watch your child..what? you dont have friends or family... that would be a problem all in its own....but only your problem. This CHANGE sucks! way to go Obama. Lets go back to the old way and maybe half for campers and half for people sitting in front of their computers.
What about those idiots that go online in CA and get tickets but don't want to pay for airfare or something else comes up... then the ticket goes to waste. BOO Obama (for this mess).

Hey Doris Coleman, get your tickets yet?...I didn't think so.

I can appreciate the fact that many of you feel like this was not fair and you really enjoyed camping out in front of the White House to get your that you have admitted to having attended this event more than once, how about laying off the new president and how his team decided to make tickets available and allowing some of us who don't have time to camp out for our opportunity to attend. Thank you very much.

I live in CA and went online today for about 1 1/2 hours trying to get tickets. Around 11:15 a.m., I was successful in getting 4 tickets. My family members who live near the District tried unsuccessfully to get tickets but weren't able to do so. My family and I had already planned our vacation in the District and the 13th is our last day there. We will be visiting family who live there and would not have been able to go to the Easter Egg Roll if the tickets weren't available online. My family members who live near the District would never and could not have waited overnight in line for tickets for us because they couldn't take off work. I thank the President & First Lady for allowing us the opportunity to take our young son to this event. Even though my family got tickets but other family members did not, I still prefer this method of getting tickets to the old one of camping out near the White House.

In response to dct ransplant

I wonder how many people waste work hours camping out in line. I bought two airline tickets on Virgin America for $432 ROUND TRIP for me & my husband (our child flies free). That's going cross country from LAX to Washington DC. Hotels may be a little expensive but there are bargains out there if you look. And getting online tickets to the egg roll was a bonus. I wouldn't have wanted to spend part of my vacation sleeping on the sidewalk! So this internet system worked great for me. I hope it continues.

I was able to get tickets online for my 7 and 8 year old boys. We are all thankful the Obama's gave everyone a chance to attend the easter egg roll. It may have made it difficult for a few who have gone year after year. Wow, someone else kid now has a chance. Remember it's for children!

I have been wasting time trying and trying to get
tickets via internet. I believe if someone wants to wait out all night - they deserve the tickets.
Perhaps it was a not very well thought out plan - which in this day and age is a very scary thought. I absolutely believe tickets can still be had - for a price.

For those who attended in the past with your children. STOP being so damn greedy and STOP complaining. Let others enjoy this wonderful experience too.
PS: I got my four tickets. Thank you Mr. President.

I am highly offended ANY child has been given priority over another child to access this very coveted Easter Egg Hunt at the White House. President Obama was not elected to such a coveted position solely with the votes of military personnel and the residents of the District of Columbia. Perhaps there should have been a separate Easter egg hunt for children of military personnel. My granddaughter has as much right to attend this Easter Egg Hunt at the White House as any other child. What message are we sending to our children? I am highly, highly offended with this process. My grandaughter should have been allowed to attend also. Because this is such a big event, why not schedule several dates for children to attend an Easter Egg Hunt at the White House beginning with Good Friday weekend and continuing until Easter Monday. Obviously, this would have allowed more children to participate in and enjoy such a memorable event. How would YOU feel if YOUR two daughters were DENIED the right to attend and they RESIDE at the White House? Can you understand how I feel now?

We have had tickets for the White House Easter Eggs Roll for the past two years because my husband and his friends camped out in front of the White House with all the other parents. He has been recently deployed so I was very excited that the tickets were available on line and I would have a change to get tickets for my son to attend. My five year old son was looking forward to attending the Easter Eggs Roll this year. However, I was on the internet the entire day and wasn’t able to get any tickets. Although my son will be very disappointed, I still believe it is great that everyone had the opportunity to try to receive tickets for this event.

I think it was a great idea to open up tickets online for everyone. Its to give everyone a chance to attend whether they live in DC or not. I tried to get tickets but was unsuccessful. Will try again next year. For those of you you've attended, maybe its time you step back and give the others you haven't had a chance to attend a shot. Don't be so selfish!!!! Remember its for the kids.....
Mr.Galler, change is inevitable and necessary. Accept it. Without change our country would still be stuck back in the Middle Ages. I'm very proud that this president has embraced technology!!! Its about time!!!

The only ones I see complaining about the process about online vs. camping out are the ones who go EVERY year. Would they be happy if we went back to the camping out style, but take down SSN's of every attendant, and not let anyone attend more than once every 8 years? Of course not, because it seems to me that the issue isn't about camping out, or even the fairness of tickets to those people, it is the fact that they feel that they are entitled to attend this exclusive event every year, and they are upset that their way of getting guaranteed tickets has been (hopefully) forever lost. It is funny that they talk about how the new ticketing system isn't fair to them, when the old system wasn't fair to anyone who couldn't devote the day and a half camping in line.

Thanks for nothing Mr. President. We are 2 local federal employees that voted for you to fix the health care system, get out of Iraq and fix the economy --- not to kill a 100+ year old tradition. We have camped for the last several years to get tix and there are as many out of towners as locals --- thanks for turning one of the most pleasant DC events into a scalpers haven --- now its just like day one of Hanna Montana or the Jonas Brothers --- a commercial debacle that has no sense of family left --- Hope your daughters enjoy the event --- we had 7 family members on line from midnight -4 p.m. --- actually got through repeatedly to the verification and your chosen vendor system froze from overload and kicked us out --- if you wanted a lottery -- why not a fair one --- all send in and pick randomly --- seriously what's with wasting 15 hours of hundreds of thousands of peoples time --- in the traditional line --- no one wasted their time --- when the line was at the point that folks behind wouldn't get tix --- the park service told them they were too far back --- end of story --- you single handedly ruined not only family traditions, but an entire day of productivity for hard working devoted parents --- I could not be more perplexed and annoyed by your latest publicity scheme --- this opening the white house story is just like Michele's early campaign comment that your kids would be in the DC schools and you'd fix them --- well I suppose for folks paying $60,000/ year to send their kids to Sidwell Friends and living in the White house --- the fact that families planning for this event all year cannot attend seems small --- well again, thanks for Nothing. And selling the wooden eggs is truly pathetic --- please engage in your self promotion on your personal time, not the tax payers --- Shame on you Obama!!

I guess it is all about Eric Galler, get over your self centered self. Oh poor me I need to use technology to score easter egg tickets this will make it fair for all the people across the great USA.

Do you have nothing better to do then bitch about easter eggs? Bunch of cry babies.


Great idea for those that want to make a buck or two. How about all those people who got their free tickets, and decided that with airfare, car rental, hotel, food, it might not be worth it. I imagine that there will be lots of no-shows. Thanks for taking out fellowship, communities getting together, experiences of a life-time, so that the old tradition can get turned into a 'free' for all on the net.

To the grandmother above who is sooo offended about military children who get special treatment and priority to funtions at the White House~ Do you even know what you are talking about???? Because it doesn't sound like you have a clue, my husband has been in the military for 27 years and not once have we been given a ticket to attend any function at the White House before anyone else. nor anyother free deal~ where do you get your information. We don't ask for free things nor do we go around crying about them. We do not complain when things don't go our way either. Both of my children have had to wait just like all the other children for tickets to attend the Easter Egg Roll @ The White House we have lived near D.C. for 10 years now and waited in the lines 7 times we got tickets on two occasions THAT WAS IT!!!! so DON'T TELL ME about how we expect special treatment or just because my husband is in the military i think my kids deserve more then your grandkids. I think anyone who gets the chance to attend should and it is a shame when someone tries to pass blame or find fault or sell tickets. we are adults. I really hope you get your extra day or work thru your issues. or maybe know what you are talking about next time before you run off at the mouth.

Wow! Everyone is complaining and writing on here, and it's not like it's going to make any difference. The tickets are sold, those that have them are going to go and those who don't won't....ummmm...isn't that how it goes every year anyway? I think it is very fair to sell the tickets online. It gives people who live far away a chance to take part in a 100+ tradition. And those of you who are saying you've been every year and now you couldn't get tickets this year,come on, get over it and give others a chance to experience the celebration!

To C. Fullen: Your ignorance is bliss Sir/Ma'am. You seem to have a completely inaccurate understanding of what the military does or does not receive. I'm inclined to think you have forgotten that the men and women of the US Armed Forces have aided in your ability to speak so carelessly.

I do agree with the idea of having several opportunities to allow more participants. However, despite an awesome tradition, I am not opposed to this new 'change' set forth by President and Mrs. Obama. I find it quite refreshing that they are trying to open this opportunity up to more than the 'usual' crowd.

With that being said, my family and I have never been a part of this experience. Nor had I planned on attending this year until I received notice that we would be invited because my husband and I are both Active Duty Military members.

My son is 3 years old and it just so happens that Daddy is leaving April 12th for a 6-mth deployment to Iraq. I think the Easter Egg Roll is only a small consolation to the fact that my son will be without his biggest hero for another 6 months. You Sir/Ma'am probably have not had to sit at home and explain why Mommy and Daddy are gone for such a long time. You Sir/Ma'am probably have not had to send you child away for 6 months at a time because you have to serve your county over your child's needs.

I will be leaving in June for my own 6-mth deployment to Iraq. This is the second time for both my husband and I in a year and a half. So if my child gets a ticket to this event because of his parent's military status, I'm ok with that. And you should not even come close to complaining about such a privilege when it is quite possible, this could be the last great memory my son has with his family, God forbid.

I feel blessed and honored for such an opportunity and in no way take this for granted. Thank you President and Mrs. Obama for invited my family and I to be part of such an awesome tradition!

BooHoo to all you out of area people who will now get their tickets by a click of a mouse(good luck with that, I am sure it will be that easy). Shame on us and all those other selfish families who waited in all kinds of weather all night long that was open to everyone to come to bring their families to the egg roll. By the way, you wait the Friday before the Monday to get tickets so I don't really understand how out of towners are given the edge of being able to come now. Where are they coming from that they can come and go on a Monday? I waited in line with people from the DC area as well as Georgia and Iowa. Also, news flash, do your homework spouters off at the mouth those that lived far away had better chances of getting egg roll tickets from their local elected officials. Yup, this is one more thing that the OBAMAS could keep their hands out of!! I wonder did they ever hear of the saying "if it is not broken don't fix it."

I think it could be another form to get tickets. My husband is in the ARMY, he was deployed twice and he is going back this year. For most of the holidays he is not here. This year our daughter ask for the first time to go to the Easter Egg Roll, we slept with the computer waiting for the tickets but the page was busy at the end we couldn't get tickets. I think is unfair that this opportunity is just for kids in the D.C and if they are going to give the rest of us a chance they have to do it in another way for next year.

I live in DC, few blocks from the White House, and never tried to camp on the line. I don't think it was cool. It was cruel!

I loved the online system idea. I know everybody in Alaska had the same chances than me and I think this is fair.

I tried every time that I had a break on March 26th. It was really hard but I got my 4 tickets around 7:30pm. :)

I had planned to take my granchildren to the White House Easter Egg Roll
and just learned that all tickets were online and are gone
We are coming from California ages 3,7,8,11 and am pleased that this is the method but totally shocked as all of them are gone
If you cannot go, please help me
We are not going to go back to school until Tuesday even though I am an
elementary school Principal in California
I guess I was distracted when the online happened
The budget crisis has taken a toll
Nancy Oda
home telephone 818 786 0914

So now I understand, it was not meant for DC children and surrounding ares to get tickets. It was a punishment for us because we live close to the white house. Well thanks for nothing, I was on line from the beginning to end and kept getting kicked out. I would have rather stood in line and took my chances, at least it would have been in my hands and not the hands of the people who are now reselling the tickets that were supposed to be free.

Geeeez! And I always thought Easter was about grace, love, compassion and forgiveness.

My husband was able to secure 4 tickets online around 10:00 needless to say I AM ECSTATIC my 4yr. old son,myself, my co-worker and her 1 yr.old daughter will be attending the event. I too had planned to camp out for tickets and was somewhat skeptical when I found out about the online distrbution of tickets. This is the first year I ever wanted to attend (had no interest of going with past administration) Yes I understand the event is for the children just happens my son thinks President Obama is "the coolest" because I tell him that President Obama cares about his future. I live in Northern VA and I since President Obama accepted the nomination I have been saying my son would be at The Easter Egg Roll and even after I found out about the online distribution I kept a positive attitude and just did what everyone else did and tried.
I didn't curse the process then try.... ever heard of the saying "If you curse the morning you just might have a bad day" so all those of you that spoke negative things about the process such as "This is stupid", "Oh, this will never work" well you got just what you expected. I have older children and I have always taught them to have a positive approach and positive things will happen. For those of you who just liked the camp out experience you are weird. For those of you who don't even like President Obama but just want your kids to be at The Easter Egg Roll for the status symbol, you are the weirdest. Why would you want to go to someone's house you don't even like? For those of you that told your children they were going to The Easter Egg Roll before you secured tickets, you don't know how to parent so if your children cried it's your fault and you should be ashamed of yourself. That's the first rule of parenting NEVER PROMISE WHAT YOU MAY NOT BE ABLE TO DELIVER kids never understand any reason why their heros can't deliver, so in the future wait until you are 100% sure before you promise your children anything, trust me it will save them heartbreak in the future. To all those of you who were successful in obtaining tickets due to your positive attitudes and deligence. WAY TO GO! CONGRATS and I'll see you on the south lawn!!!!
THANK YOU FIRST LADY & PRESIDENT OBAMA for a CHANGE I CONTINUE TO BELIEVE IN!!!! P.S. all you whiners, I predict the same system next year for getting tickets of course President&First Lady will work out all the kinks first. This year was just a dry run. So you better do what you have to do if you want tickets! Start planning now like you did when you would camp out! Take the day off work so you can be online for however long it takes, just like you did when you would camp out! Buy a faster computer just like you bought tents and camping gear!Whatever the case just shut your pieholes and accept the fact that CHANGE HAS COME TO AMERICA!!!!!!!

im writing because my daughter will luv to attending the easter egg roll for the first time if its not availabe for that event can you update me on another event that may be avaialbe

I have to agree with all who have protested that those of you that attend this "traditionally" every year should stay home from now on to give all of the rest of us an opportunity to go. This is as bad as all of the comments about the scalpers. No matter which way you look at it, its always going to mostly be the same people going to this event. I think if you have attended in the past, you should not be allowed to go again within a certain amount of time and should be approved or denied a ticket with SSN tracking like everything else is. I plan to try to secure tickets to go this year, but if I don't get them, I hope that the ones who do are families that have not been before. That is the ONLY fair way to do it, not of how the tickets are being distributed. And by the way, the wooden easter egg that I bought last year online for my 9 yr old daughter *who will be too old to go after this Easter unfortunately*, absolutely thrilled her.

I am happy that there is an oppurtunity for me to be able to take my daughter to this event at the White House. I am in Iraq and would not be able to be there for the camp out, but with this new system I have a chance. If successful I will fly my family from KS to DC to spend a week in DC and give my family an Easter to remember.

I do agree about limiting the previous attendees, and hope that this year names are printed on tickets, or a guest list is present to prevent scalpers.

I have to say for all the people who think it is scammed the way the pick the tickets You are wrong! We are a normal run of the mill family and we won the tickets for the roll this year online. We are going we planned a nice little vacation for a couple days in DC. I think it is the best idea ever. Thanks Obama!

Do you ppl in Wahington think only u deserve to attend this event? Open yr eyes, there's a big world out here. Everyone can't camp out, some ppl have jobs, live out of town, etc. My son is a Marine stationed in NC. He applied online and is attending with his wife and 3yr old son. And no we r not friends or family of the Obamas. Online is the fairest way for all. Some will get tickets some won't. That's life! There r more important things to deal with beside an Easter Egg Roll. My son just returned from Iraq, 3 ppl that returned with him just committed suicide and the rest of them r dealing with severe emotional issues and u ppl r complaining about an egg hunt.

I applied for tickets this year. My son is very into the President and I knew he would love to go. Up till this year I never even really know about it, well about how people got to attend it. I actually got a set of tickets and I couldn't be happier. I will not apply for ticktes in the future because I feel that that is greedy. Just as much as the locals kids want to go, kids that live elsewhere in the US want to go too. My kids are so excited to go! We planned a whole trip that if it wasnt for winning the tickets online, we probably would never make it out to the White House so I am VERY greatful for the change and the chance to involve my children in something as special as this that they will always remember as a once in a life time event!

I started this tread two Easters ago. I see that the White house is spending their time having their Propaganda peeps write how wonderful the new egg system is. Two years later - still cant get tickets to a DC event. Yes it was once for DC locals who live in the beltway. Well - my family and friends care very little about the event these days. Many have greater issues to deal with the other Obama games and nonsense. It is what it is. Perhaps the next President will return to tradition. Oh- I'm overseas in the Middle east now where EVERYONE loves Obama. Like a son!!! When will the Arab locals get a chance to roll some Obama eggs? He's good at appeasing and I have little doubt they have ever rolled an egg.

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Lynn Sweet

Lynn Sweet is a columnist and the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.

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This page contains a single entry by Lynn Sweet published on March 23, 2009 12:44 PM.

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