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Reese Witherspoon, Apolo Ohno, former Obama neighbor Billy Jonas at W.H. Easter Egg Roll

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WASHINGTON--There are a lot of stars booked for Monday's White House Easter Egg Roll, where 30,000 folks are expected on the South Lawn, including Billy Jonas, a Hyde Park native who grew up across the alley from the Obama family.

Among the names:

J.K. Rowling, Reese Witherspoon, Apolo Ohno, Mariska Hargitay, Dylan and Cole Sprouse, Elmo and Maria of Sesame Street and Betty DeGeneres
will read on the Storytime Stage

Former Chicagoan Billy Jonas, a native Hyde Parker who lived across the alley of the Obama family when they lived in their condo at 5450 S. East View will be performing on the Ellipse. The invitation to the Billy Jonas Band came from a staffer--not the Obama's--but that was just fine for Jonas now based in Asheville, N.C. Jonas is a graduate of Kenwood High School.

Chef Art Smith--another Chicagoan who lives in Hyde Park-- plus Chef José Andrés, Chef Cliff Wharton, Chef Nora Poullion, Chef Robert Wiedmaier, Chef Susan Limb, Chef Victor Albisu, and the White House Chefs
will prepare healthy eating demonstrations.

Tennis great Billie Jean King--who lives part time in Chicago-- plus sports figures Gigi Fernandez, Ilana Kloss, Delaney Rudd, Liezel Huber, Katrina Adams, Anna Rawson, Jane Geddes, Kris Tschetter, Martin
Gramatica, Michele Smith, Al Bumbry and Earl Boykins will help organize games.

click below for a lot more information..

Below, from the White House.....

White House Announces 2010 Easter Egg Roll Healthy Activities, Top Talent Line-up & 50 Quick Facts

30,000 people from all 50 states and DC will attend Monday's South Lawn event

On Monday, April 5th, 30,000 people from all 50 states and DC will visit the South Lawn of the White House for this year's Easter Egg Roll. This year's activities will reflect the theme, 'Ready, Set, Go!' which follows the First Lady's Let's Move! initiative - a national effort to combat childhood obesity. Numerous singers, entertainers, chefs and athletes will participate in this year's event - the largest annual public event held at the White House.

This year, new activities have been added to 'egg roll classics' in order to promote healthy and active living. Activities include:

· Sports Zones - Football, basketball, tennis, golf, softball and obstacle courses

· Rock 'n' Egg Roll Stage -Featuring live musical performances

· Storytime Stage

· Hop to it! - An instructional dance center on the South Lawn

· Play with your Food - Make-your-own Garden, Farmer's Market, Buzzing about Bees, Fun Food Science and more led by the White House Chefs and celebrity guest chefs. This activity center is built around the White House Kitchen Garden

· Eggspress Yourself - Arts and crafts workshop

· Yoga Garden

· An Easter egg hunt & the traditional Easter egg roll

The White House is pleased to welcome the following performers and leaders in their field to participate in this year's Easter Egg Roll:

· Sara Bareilles, Justin Bieber, the cast of the television show Glee, Yo Gabba Gabba, Sesame Street, and Little Beat, The #1 Chinchilla and DJ Willy Wow! will perform on the Rock 'n' Egg Roll Stage

· J.K. Rowling, Reese Witherspoon, Apolo Ohno, Mariska Hargitay, Dylan and Cole Sprouse, Elmo and Maria of Sesame Street and Betty DeGeneres will read on the Storytime Stage

· Billy Jonas and Miss Amy will perform on the Ellipse

· Chef Art Smith, Chef José Andrés, Chef Cliff Wharton, Chef Nora Poullion, Chef Robert Wiedmaier, Chef Susan Limb, Chef Victor Albisu, and the White House Chefs will prepare healthy eating demonstrations in the Play with your Food station.

· Billie Jean King, Gigi Fernandez, Ilana Kloss, Delaney Rudd, Liezel Huber, Katrina Adams, Anna Rawson, Jane Geddes, Kris Tschetter, Martin Gramatica, Michele Smith, Al Bumbry and Earl Boykins will help organize games in the Sports Zones

· NFL players will lead children in healthy activities as a part of the NFL Play 60 Movement. Those participating include Washington Redskins players Kevin Barnes, Alvin Bowen, Derrick Dockery, Reed Doughty, Chris Horton, Marko Mitchell, Will Robinson, Casey Rabach, Justin Tryon, Edwin Williams, Anthony Montgomery, Lorenzo Alexander, H.B. (Horatio Benedict) Blades, Doug Dutch as well as, Baltimore Ravens players Matt Lawrence and Sam Koch

· The DC Youth Orchestra and the United States Marine Corps Band

In an effort to improve and expand on its annual tradition, the White House has done the following:

· For the second year in a row, tickets were distributed online, allowing for more guests from across the nation to attend the event. For the first time, guests from all 50 states and DC will have an opportunity to attend.

· All of the headliner music acts and Storytime Stage readers will have their performances broadcast live on A full schedule will be posted on the morning of April 5th so citizens from across the country can participate in the event.

· The White House has extended this year's event, with a start time of 7:45 AM and an end time of 5:45 PM. 30,000 tickets have been distributed in 5 different groups. Each group of 6,000 guests will be able to spend two full hours on the White House's South Lawn.

· An entertainment pavilion has been added to the ellipse so guests can enjoy musical acts and activities as they prepare to enter the South Lawn.

· A more ambitious and comprehensive approach to sustainability was taken to minimize the environmental impact of the 2010 Easter Egg Roll. Some of the highlights include: the "greenest" souvenir egg in Egg Roll history, crafted from Forest Stewardship Council certified U.S. hardwood; goody bags made from 100% post-consumer recycled plastic; the use of organically grown fruits and vegetables at the Play with Your Food station; and increased recycling and composting capabilities on the day of the event.

50 Quick Facts about the White House Easter Egg Roll


1) Approximately 250,000 tickets were requested through the online lottery

2) This year an online lottery was used to give more guests from across the US a chance to attend

3) At least one family from all 50 states was successful in the lottery

4) 3,000 tickets were distributed to students of DC, MD and VA schools

5) 4,000 tickets were distributed to military families


6) The eggs are available in four unique colors - purple, pink, green, yellow - and include the stamped signatures of the President and First Lady

7) The wooden eggs are produced through a process of wood turning and barrel dying

8) 14,500 hard-boiled and dyed eggs will be used between the egg roll and the egg hunt, and an additional 4,500 hard-boiled eggs will be provided for the egg dying station on the South Lawn

9) "Chirping eggs" will be part of the Egg Hunt, to accommodate guests with visual impairments

10) The Official Souvenir Wooden Egg is given to all children at the event age 12 and younger

11) A total of 135,000 Souvenir wooden eggs were produced for this year's event

12) The National Park Foundation produces the White House Easter Eggs and they are available for sale at:

Healthy Activities

13) The activities are centered on the theme "Ready, Set, Go!" encouraging healthy and active living in coordination with the First Lady's Let's Move! initiative. Some of the activities include:

14) Football - NFL players will teach children to catch and throw, as well as coach them through an obstacle course to test their new skills

15) Family Farmer's Market - a look at healthy eating with celebrity chef demo stations.

16) Make Your Own Garden - using the White House Kitchen Garden as the inspiration, children can make a seeding cup to take their own garden home to grow

17) Softball, Golf, Soccer, Basketball and Tennis - Children will have the opportunity to learn the fundamentals of sports from professional athletes

18) Hop To It! - A non-stop dance station at the White House complete with hula hoops and dance workshops

19) Eggspress Yourself - an arts and crafts area where children can do everything from egg dying to making "Medals of Eggsellence" to spend the day looking like Olympians

20) The White House Easter Egg classics will also be back this year. These activities include the Egg Hunt, the Storytime Stage and, of course, the traditional Easter Egg Roll

21) The Egg Roll is accessible to children in wheelchairs with the addition of wheelchair matting

22) Books that will be read on the Storytime Stage were checked out from DC public libraries. And they will all be returned on time!

23) Don't worry, sweets are still a part of the Easter Egg Roll. This year's goody bags will include Hershey's chocolates and Peeps


24) The Easter Egg Roll is a White House tradition dating back to 1878 and President Rutherford B. Hayes, but there are records of informal egg rolling events as early as Abraham Lincoln's administration

25) After the Civil War, egg rolling often took place on the Capitol building's grounds. But by 1876, Congressmen grew tired of the torn up grounds and rowdy crowds and passed a law prohibiting the use of the Capitol Grounds as a play area

26) On Easter day in 1878, when the ban on egg rolling at the Capitol was enforced, some claim that President Hayes saw tearful children while riding by the Capitol Grounds in his carriage and invited them to play on the White House lawn

27) By 1899, the White House Easter Egg Roll had become quite popular, with over 8,000 people in attendance. This year, 30,000 were invited to attend the event

28) The Easter Egg Roll has been held at the White House every year except during World War I, World War II and the Truman Renovation of the White House, when it was moved to other Washington locations or cancelled

29) President Ronald Reagan was the first President to hide autographed eggs for children to find in the Egg Hunt

30) President Nixon and First Lady Pat Nixon were the first to include the White House Easter Bunny in the festivities

31) President George H.W. Bush and First Lady Barbara Bush were the first to affix the signature of the President and First Lady to the commemorative egg

32) First Lady Grace Coolidge was known for her love of pets, but none were more famous than her pet raccoon, Rebecca, who made an appearance at the White House Easter Egg Roll in the 1920's

Easter Bunny and Ceremony

33) The First Lady is the official host of the White House Easter Egg Roll

34) The event cannot officially be called the White House Easter Egg Roll until the opening ceremony begins and the Easter Egg Bunny makes an appearance

Poster Contest

35) The White House held a local poster competition and invited DC, Maryland and Virginia schools to submit their ideas. Submissions came in from 44 area schools

36) The First Lady selected the winning designs

37) This year's co-winners are siblings. The program cover was designed by Kayleigh Geibel, a third grader at Dayton Oaks Elementary School. The other co-winner is Devin Geibel, a fifth grader from Dayton Oaks Elementary. Devin's artwork serves as the 2010 Official Easter Egg Roll Poster. Dayton Oaks Elementary school is located in Howard County, MD

38) Kayleigh and Devin will be attending the White House Easter Egg Roll, along with their classes and teachers


39) All goody bags are made from 100% recycled plastic

40) The goody bags will include a brochure on healthy eating

41) The packaging of the eggs, made from recyclable paperboard, was designed to minimize waste and environmental impact

42) For the second year in a row, the souvenir egg is made from Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) - certified, U.S. hardwood

43) Recycling bins will be placed throughout the South Lawn and the Ellipse

44) Many of the fruits and vegetables for this year's event were organically grown

45) Food scraps from the Play with Your Food station will be composted - a first for the Easter Egg Roll


46) 7 American Sign Language (ASL) interpreters and 6 nurses will volunteer at this year's event

47) The White House Easter Egg Roll is made possible by the hard work of close to 1,200 volunteers

48) All volunteers attended at least one training session and some traveled from as far away as Texas to be part of this year's event

49) Volunteers come from the White House, the Administration and interested citizens from across the DC metro area or beyond

50) Many volunteers will arrive for their shifts as early as 5:00 AM to help get the Easter Egg Roll rolling!


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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 April 2, 2010 2:21 PM.

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