Brendan Smialowski / AFP - Getty Images
President Obama helps a young participant during during the 134th annual Easter Egg Roll on the South Lawn of the White House last year.
Famous athletes, celebrity chefs and a pint-sized president will all be part of the festivities on Monday when President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama host the 135th annual White House Easter Egg Roll.
A crowd of 35,000 representing all 50 states and the District of Columbia is expected on the South Lawn for the largest annual public event at the White House. A special guest will be Robby Novak, better known as Kid President, the 9-year-old YouTube sensation from Tennessee whose stated mission is to make the world less boring. Novak helped film a promotional video for the White House earlier this year to let his peers know about the Easter Egg Roll.
In addition to rolling Easter eggs on the lawn, there will be live music, sports instruction, cooking stations and storytelling. “American Idol’’ stars Jordin Sparks and Jessica Sanchez headline the group of musical performers, while those handling storytelling duties for the children will include NASCAR driver Danica Patrick, Minnesota Vikings star running back Adrian Peterson, Oscar-nominated child actress Quvenzhane Wallis and characters from Sesame Street.
Food Network stars Ann Burrell and Ina Garten will be among those cooking up tasty and healthy eats for the attendees, and a host of professional athletes will be on hand to teach kids fun ways to stay fit as part of this year’s theme of “Be Healthy, Be Active, Be You!” There also will be a “Yoga Garden’’ for children.
More than 300,000 tickets were requested from people from across the nation, and a lottery was used to determine the 35,000 recipients of invitations, according to the White House. The White House seemed to hint that the annual event was in jeopardy of being canceled earlier this month, due to spending cuts, but quickly shot down that speculation and confirmed the celebration would go on as scheduled.
This year’s souvenir Easter eggs will come in purple, blue, yellow and pink, bearing the signatures of the President and First Lady. There also will be a commemorative teal egg available with a paw print of Bo, the Obama family’s dog.