The White House Easter Egg Roll is one of the nation’s great traditions, dating back 139 years to the Rutherford B. Hayes presidency in 1878. Thousands of children descend upon the White House each year with long-handled spoons in hand to roll a wooden Easter egg across the South Lawn, which is seldom open to the public.
Attending the event is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for most, but not for Lincolnton resident Emilee Reynolds, who participated in the egg roll for the third time on Monday morning.
“It’s been a great experience in all three years that I’ve gone,” Reynolds said. “It’s really cool to be on the White House lawn because it’s not somewhere that a lot of people get to go. It’s a very neat experience and my favorite part of the whole day is the Easter egg roll because of all the years of tradition.”
Reynolds, a seventh grade student at Lincolnton Middle School, is the daughter of Nikki Massey. Massey is in a relationship with Wayne King, who serves as the deputy chief of staff for Rep. Mark Meadows. White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon invited King and his family to participate in Monday’s celebration.
“We got there early Monday morning when the president and first lady addressed the crowd, so Emilee had a pretty neat experience,” King said. “It’s a non-political event and this is the third time that Emilee has attended, twice during Barack Obama’s presidency and then this time under the Trump administration. It’s a time for people to bring their kids and families to celebrate the Easter holiday in a unique way. It’s a very neat experience for the kids and there aren’t many people who get to do this, so it’s a truly unique opportunity.”
In addition to the egg roll, Reynolds participated in the White House Easter Egg Hunt, which is also held on the South Lawn, and she spent the afternoon playing tennis on the White House tennis courts. She also had the opportunity to meet some of the nation’s top officials, including Attorney General Jeff Sessions and White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer.
White House officials estimated an attendance of approximately 21,000 visitors throughout the day at President Donald Trump’s first White House Easter Egg Roll. Wells Wood Turning provided approximately 18,000 wooden eggs for the festival.