Monday, April 25, 2011

President, First Lady Open 2011 White House Easter Egg Roll

Preceded by the Easter Bunny, President Obama emerged to cheers as he stepped onto the Truman Balcony overlooking the South Lawn at 10:20 this morning, to officially kick off the 2011 White House Easter Egg Roll. Despite big overnight storms in Washington, the skies were bright blue and the sun blazing. About 30,000 guests from all fifty states will visit the White House today for the annual day of fun. It's a 133-year-long tradition. Singer Colbie Caillat opened with the National Anthem. (Above: The First Family greets the crowd)

"I want to introduce somebody who is doing extraordinary work not only helping military families, not only making sure that everybody is getting up and going, but is also keeping me in line, the First Lady of the United States, Michelle Obama." President Obama said.

The President and Mrs. Obama were accompanied by daughters Malia and Sasha, and First Grandmother Marian Robinson, who'd already taken a morning star turn on the Storytime Stage, reading Dr. Seuss' One fish Two Fish, Red Fish Blue Fish, to a crowd of early guests.

Mrs. Obama's remarks were equally brief, as she welcomed all and announced this year's theme, "Get Up and Go!"

"A you know, I’m a big proponent of getting up and going, making sure we’re moving and eating healthy," Mrs. Obama said. "And this Easter Egg Roll reflects all of that, so while you’re here in addition to listening to some great music and dancing a little bit, you can roll your eggs. You can do some yoga. You can play with some -- do some obstacle course, play basketball and tennis."

"So I think now it’s time for us to stop talking and “Get up and Go,” and do some moving," Mrs. Obama said. "So with that we’re going to come down and kick off the Easter Egg Roll."

Mrs. Obama told her guest to "have a great time," then she and her family descended into the crowd to shake hands and head for their first stop of the day, the Easter Egg Rolling Race.

Above: The Cat In The Hat vamps as Mrs. Robinson reads on the Storytime Stage, accompanied by a sign language interpreter.

*Top photo by Getty; others by Eddie Gehman Kohan/