The Easter Egg Roll was canceled for a second year in a row due to the pandemic but Joe and Jill Biden will send thousands of commemorative Easter eggs to hospitals and vaccination sites, the administration announced on Friday.
‘Due to COVID-19 this year, unfortunately the annual Easter Egg Roll at the White House will not take place.
The Bidens hope to continue this tradition in 2022,’ said Michael LaRosa, a spokesperson for first lady Jill Biden, in a statement.
This year’s commemorative wooden White House Easter Egg features the first dogs, Champ and Major, along with the Easter Bunny wearing a face mask. The eggs are for
‘The White House plans to send out thousands of the 2021 commemorative Easter Egg Roll eggs in the coming days to vaccination sites and local hospitals.
We urge everyone this Easter to continue wearing masks, engage in social distancing and get the vaccine when it is your turn,’ LaRosa said.
Social distancing measures remain in place even as the White House celebrated 100 million shots in the arms of Americans as the people around the country begin to get vaccinated.
President Biden said earlier this month that if people get vaccinated, continue to social distance, wash their hands and wear their face masks, then there could be ‘small gatherings’ for the fourth of July.
The White House Historical Association, meanwhile, will offer a series of in place of the Easter Egg Roll, the group announced on Friday.
Options include a virtual scavenger hunt, a digital jigsaw puzzle, downloadable dragon coloring pages from wings of fire pages, and a way to design your own commemorative egg.
The back of wooden eggs features the signatures of President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden.
The Blue, Green, Pink or Purple Eggs featuring the Easter Bunny retail for $8.50 each.
The Gold White House Easter Egg featuring Champ and Major sells for $14.95. And the set of all of them goes for $34.95.
This year’s commemorative wooden White House Easter Egg features the first dogs, Champ and Major, along with the Easter Bunny wearing a face mask.
The White House Easter Egg Roll has been canceled but the official egg features Joe and Jill Biden’s signature along with their dogs Champ and Major
Donald and Melania Trump hosted the last in-person Easter Egg Roll, blowing a whistle to start the traditional egg race on the South Lawn in April 2019
The annual Easter Egg Roll, usually a joyous occasion where thousands of children flood the South Lawn of the White House to play games, including taking part in the famous egg roll race, last took place in person in 2019 when Donald and Melania Trump were in office.
Last year, Melania Trump read a story to children online after the event was canceled due to COVID.
She said, at the time, the decision was ‘difficult.’
‘The health and safety of all Americans must be the first priority, especially right now,’ she said last March. ‘I deeply regret this cancellation, but we need to make difficult decisions in the short term to ensure a healthy country for the long term.’
The White House, meanwhile, has not announced the Biden’s plans for the Easter holiday.
The family will likely attend Catholic mass – it is a holy day of obligation in the Catholic faith – and President Biden has shown a preference to go to church at St. Joseph on the Brandywine, near his home in Wilmington.
The Egg Roll dates back to 1878, when President Rutherford B.
Hayes agreed to open the White House the Monday following Easter to all children who wanted to roll Easter eggs.
In 1981, President Ronald Reagan and First Lady Nancy Reagan hosted a hunt for wooden eggs that bore the signatures of famous people.
Wooden eggs soon became the official White House Egg Roll keepsakes, according to the historical association.
The eggs are designed to reflect the special theme of each year’s event and are inscribed with the signatures of the President and First Lady.
This year’s features the Biden’s German shepherds: Champ and Major.
Major is finally out of the dog house after biting a security agent earlier this month.
The president defended his dog earlier this week, saying the three-year-old Major didn’t break the skin when he bit a security agent and was just being protective.
‘Look, Major was a rescue pup.
Major did not bite someone and penetrate the skin,’ he told ABC News. ‘I guess what surprised me is the White House itself, living there. Every door you turn to, there’s a guy there in a black jacket.’
He said the new living environment and all the new people around surprised the dog.
‘You turn a corner, and there’s two people you don’t know at all,’ Biden said.
‘And he moves to protect. But he’s a sweet dog. Eighty-five percent of the people there love him. He just– all he does is lick them and wag his tail.’
The president noted ‘the dog’s being trained now’ in Delaware but argued the pup wasn’t banished for the being a bad boy.
‘We’re in the process of having a training session,’ he said.
‘I didn’t banish him to home.
Jill was gonna be away for four days. I was gonna be away for two so we took him home,’ he said.
President Biden and Jill Biden with their dog Champ
President Joe Biden said his rescue pup Major is out of the dog house after biting incident
Earlier this month, three-year-old Major bit a security guard but President Biden said the dog was surprised and didn’t break the skin
Last year Melania Trump went online to read a story to children after the White House Easter Egg Roll was canceled due to COVID
The last in-person Easter Egg Roll was in 2019, when Donald and Melania Trump welcomed children to the South Lawn of the White House
Joe and Jill Biden adopted Major from an animal shelter in November 2018 as a companion for their older dog Champ, also a German Shepherd.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki also defended the dogs earlier this month.
She noted that Champ and Major are ‘still getting acclimated and accustomed to their new surroundings and new people.’
She said Major was surprised by an unfamiliar person and reacted in a way that resulted in a minor injury to the individual, which was handled by the White House medical unit with no further treatment needed.’
She also denied the dogs, who she described as members of the Biden family, had been banished back to Biden’s home state of Delaware for bad doggy behavior.
Psaki said it was ‘pre-planned’ to have Champ and Major cared for by a friend there while first lady Jill Biden is on a three-day trip to the West Coast, visiting military bases in Washington state and California.
‘The dogs will return to the White House soon,’ Psaki said during her daily press briefing although she did not give a specific date.
Major is the first rescue dog to have lived in the White House, having moved in after Biden’s inauguration in January.