WASHINGTON (AP) — Jill Biden wants the White House’s annual Easter Egg Roll to be about more than just coaxing hard-boiled eggs across the lawn to a finish line.
A teacher for 30 years, the first lady is again turning the annual tradition into an “EGGucational” experience. A variety of stations on the South Lawn and Ellipse will help teach thousands of children about farming, healthier eating, exercise and more, the White House announced on Thursday.
In a nod to Biden’s “EGGucation” theme, NASA sent a souvenir wooden White House Easter egg to the International Space Station for the astronauts to help teach students about gravity.
About 30,000 people, most of them children, are expected to participate in the festivities in nine waves between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. on Monday, the White House said.
Participants include military and veteran families, caregivers and survivors, including those from the USS Delaware and the USS Gabrielle Giffords. Both Navy vessels are sponsored by the first lady. Tickets for the general public were distributed through an online lottery.
Monday’s egg roll will be the second hosted by President Joe Biden and the first lady. The event was not held in 2021, Biden’s first year in office, because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The American Egg Board is continuing its longtime sponsorship this year and donating about 30,000 eggs that were hand-dyed by a North Carolina farm, said Emily Metz, board president and CEO.
Inflation, an outbreak of bird flu and increased demand for eggs during the holiday baking season combined to send egg prices skyrocketing last year. Metz said the donation of 30,000 eggs is a fraction of the 100 billion eggs that are produced and consumed yearly in the United States.
“It’s a really important, time-honored tradition for our farmers to participate in,” she said in an interview. The White House Easter Egg Roll dates back to 1878.
The egg board is also donating more than 5 million eggs to food banks nationwide in the weeks leading up to Passover and Easter to help with holiday meals, Metz said.
And this year for the first time, the hard-boiled eggs used for the traditional egg roll and egg hunt on Monday will be composted afterward and used to fertilize gardens and parklands throughout the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia region, Metz said.
Various cartoon characters, children’s book authors, celebrities and athletes, including former Olympic gymnast Dominique Dawes and actress Halle Bailey, who starred as “Ariel” in Disney’s “The Little Mermaid,” and others will roam the White House grounds during the event.