The first annual White House Easter Egg Roll was held on April 22, 1878, after president Rutherford B. Hayes agreed to open the White House Grounds on Easter Monday. Since then, children have regularly gathered on the White House South Lawn to roll eggs and participate in Easter activities. It is one of the many special ways the president and first lady welcome children to the White House and is among the oldest of annual events—and definitely one of the most fun!
Eight year old Rocco Smirne is among the lucky children who have had the opportunity to attend the White House Easter Egg Roll. Rocco is a young White House enthusiast and author of Rocco Travels with the Presidents! His books introduce his peers to different aspects of White House history.
Now in Rocco at the White House Easter Roll! Rocco shares the story of the White House Easter Egg Roll. In 2022, Rocco was invited by President and Dr. Biden to read his book, Rocco Travels with the Presidents!, at the Easter Egg Roll. The experience was so memorable and fun, he wanted to share it with as many children as possible to let them know what to expect should they be lucky enough to attend and to let them know how they can create Easter Egg Roll magic at home by sharing the many activities that take place on the White House Grounds on Easter Monday.
Rocco explains that thousands of children and their families fill the president’s backyard on Easter Monday as they enjoy rolling and hunting for eggs, listening to the music of the Marine Band, decorating cookies, taking drawing lessons, and gathering around authors (like Rocco!) as they read their books aloud. He shares a delicious sugar cookie recipe for kids to bake and decorate at home, shares ideas for re-creating the White House Egg Hunt at home, and provides step-by-step directions for drawing lessons you can do at home.
About the author: Rocco Smirne attends elementary school in Fairfax County, Virginia. He enjoys attending festivals, parades, and activities in the Nation’s Capital. When not out exploring, Rocco enjoys reading, drawing, and video games. Rocco is co-author of A White House Alphabet and author of Rocco Travels with the Presidents!.
About the illustrator: John Hutton is a professor of art history at Salem College, and the illustrator of a collection of children’s books published by the White House Historical Association. He lives in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.
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