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Rain dampens the 1st White House Easter Egg Roll in years

The COVID-19 pandemic led the White House to cancel the egg roll in 2020 and 2021 -- but this year, tens of thousands are expected to attend.

WASHINGTON — The White House Easter Egg Roll is back for the first time since before the coronavirus pandemic.

Under rainy skies Monday, President Joe Biden and his wife, Jill, were hosting some 30,000 kids and adults for an event the first lady has dubbed the “egg-ucation roll.”

Jill Biden tweeted that Monday would be a “magical, EGGucation-filled day.”

The COVID-19 pandemic led the White House to cancel the egg roll in 2020 and 2021. But the egg roll is back this year, as the outbreak of coronavirus cases, hospitalizations and deaths has eased.

And the first lady, who is a community college professor, has turned the South Lawn into a school community with a variety of educational stations.

Besides the egg roll and an egg hunt, the all-day event includes a schoolhouse activity area, a reading nook, a talent show, a place to teach about farming, a photo-taking station, a physical “egg-ucation” zone with an obstacle course, and a “cafetorium” where children will learn to make treats.

“Tonight Show” host Jimmy Fallon, singer Ciara and actor-singer Kristin Chenoweth will add a dash of celebrity splash to the “egg-stravaganza.”

More than two dozen costumed characters will also be on hand, including Dr. Seuss’ The Cat in the Hat, the Racing Presidents mascots for the Washington Nationals of Major League Baseball, Rosita and Cookie Monster from “Sesame Street” and Snoopy and Charlie Brown, among others.

The event kicked off at around 7 a.m., with the first of five waves of people, including kids wearing their Easter best, streaming through the White House gates.

The White House Easter Egg Roll dates to 1878.

Resumption of this Easter tradition is a sign that the White House is opening up again, despite a recent spurt of COVID-19 cases among members of the Cabinet, the White House staff, Vice President Kamala Harris' husband and members of Congress, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Some of those cases stemmed from the return this month of the Gridiron Club's spring dinner.

Self-guided, public tours of the executive mansion are set to resume on Friday in a limited fashion, after they also were halted in 2020 because of the pandemic.

The White House Easter Egg Roll dates to 1878.

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