By Erica Abbott
Reports that the White House is canceling its annual Easter Egg Roll are false. While they are reportedly struggling to organize the event, it has not been canceled.
According to Snopes, rumors about the event’s cancellation began circulating after the New York Times published an article reporting on this year’s difficulties in planning. According to the report, plans for the high-profile event were up in the air early on, as the deadline for ordering the commemorative wooden eggs was almost missed. The New York Times reports:
President Trump received an urgent warning in February, informing him of a crucial date he was about to miss.
“FYI manufacturing deadlines for the Easter eggs are near,” said a Twitter post directed at Mr. Trump; the first lady, Melania Trump; and the president’s daughter Ivanka Trump. “Please reach out!”
The message came from Wells Wood Turning & Finishing, the company that supplies commemorative wooden eggs for the annual White House Easter Egg Roll, the 138-year-old celebration that has drawn 35,000 people to the South Lawn in recent years.
The staff of the company, based in Buckfield, Me., wondered whether the Trumps planned to continue distributing the wooden eggs as party favors, or whether they were even going to have a White House Easter Egg Roll at all.
White House officials did not respond to several weeks’ worth of inquiries about the Easter Egg Roll, typically a heavily and enthusiastically promoted affair, and declined to provide basic information such as how many people are expected to attend.
A separate report from The Hill indicated that Trump and First Lady Melania Trump would be heading back to Mar-a-Lago resort for part of Easter weekend. The event, however, is not scheduled to take place until the Monday after Easter, which means their current travel plans would not interfere with hosting the classic White House Easter tradition. The Trumps originally announced that the annual tradition would “roll on” last month. According to the statement, “The President and First Lady are honored to continue the traditions of the past, while weaving new traditions into the fabric of our Nation’s history.”
The confusion led many to believe that the event had been canceled. It is, however, still listed on the official White House website to take place Monday, April 17, from 7:30 a.m. to 6:45 p.m. “Thousands of lucky guests from the local D.C. area and across the nation will gather on the South Lawn of the White House for games, storytelling, entertainment and egg rolling,” the event description reads.
The first Easter Egg Roll took place in 1878 under President Rutherford B. Hayes when he “opened up the South Lawn to children who had been chased off the grounds of the U.S. Capitol,” according to the White House. According to the Historical Association, it is now considered one of the oldest annual events in White House history.
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