Ready, Set, Roll!

By Jonathan Blakely

Apr 5, 2010 2:58pm

ABC News’ Yunji de Nies Reports: The First Family welcomed thousands of visitors to the annual Easter Egg Roll.   Mrs. Obama, the official host of the day’s events, began with a nod to the bright sunshine. “Let’s say thank you to Mother Nature – yeah!” she said, standing on the Truman balcony, overlooking the South Lawn with the President, daughters, mother, and the Easter Bunny by her side. This year’s theme “Ready, Set, Go!” coincides with Mrs. Obama’s anti-childhood obesity initiative, “Let’s Move!”, with activities like yoga, tennis, golf and hula hooping.  The festivities also included show and tell at the White House Kitchen Garden and lessons on healthy food. “Our hope today is that in addition to having fun and doing some of the traditional activities like the egg roll and the Easter egg hunt, that you can learn about beginning to live a more healthy life,” she said, “”We want every single one of you to have fun, to think about living a healthy life, and to get moving.” The First Family then walked onto the South Lawn, shaking hands and posing for pictures with visitors.  The President made his way to the egg races, where he blew the whistle, kicking one off to a start.   “This looks like a fierce competition,” Mr. Obama said with a smile. Among the competitors, Lillian Plouffe, the daughter of Mr. Obama’s presidential campaign director David Plouffe.  Little Lillian was born two days after the 2008 election. The First Family later moved on to one of the reading stations, where he and Mrs. Obama read Dr. Seuss books for a group of young children.  The President choose to read “Green Eggs and Ham” and told the audience that the book offers an important message. “When you’re parents tell you to eat your broccoli, you don’t know yet if you’ll like it or not,” he said. To which the First Lady added, “Eat your peas! Just try!” The First Lady took over reading duties, with “Horton Hatches The Egg” while the President left to play basketball. The President lined up with kids shooting free throws.  He missed his first shot, but quickly got back in line and sunk the ball on his second try. “I just want everyone to know I’m so excited to have you guys out here,” he said to the children, “I can see you have some great athletes on the court. Some of you are not much bigger than the ball, so it may be a little hard to reach right now, but stay with it. You guys are going to be terrific.” The White House opened the gates early this year, at 7:45 in the morning.  More than a quarter of a million people entered the online lottery to attend the festivities, just 30,000 were lucky enough to win. The day featured performances by stars like Justin Bieber and the cast of the television show Glee.  As the Glee cast serenaded the crowd, Mrs. Obama and daughters Sasha and Malia could be seen dancing and singing along.

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