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The Bidens host bunnies, farmers and kids at the White House's annual Easter egg roll

President Biden and first lady Jill Biden attend the annual Easter egg roll on the South Lawn of the White House on April 10.
Drew Angerer
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Getty Images
President Biden and first lady Jill Biden attend the annual Easter egg roll on the South Lawn of the White House on April 10.

President Biden and first lady Jill Biden hosted the White House Easter Egg Roll on Monday, a tradition since 1878.

During Monday morning's celebration, the White House unveiled new bunny costumes, received commemorative eggs and hosted 30,000 visitors to participate in the roll and other education-themed activities.

"Today we hope you learn, explore and grow by listening to a story, rolling some eggs, playing with circuit boards or building some robots," the first lady said in opening remarks. "And most of all, having fun."

First lady Jill Biden sits with her grandson Beau Biden as she reads <em>Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?</em> to children during the annual White House Easter Egg Roll at the White House in Washington.
Susan Walsh / AP
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AP
First lady Jill Biden sits with her grandson Beau Biden as she reads Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? to children during the annual White House Easter Egg Roll at the White House in Washington.

The Bidens ate breakfast with 40 farmers as egg prices are beginning to roll down.

Before visiting the South Lawn, the first couple had breakfast with 40 egg farmers, many members of the American Egg Board, a marketing organization for egg producers.

The group included John Watson of Braswell Family Farms in North Carolina, who donated 30,000 eggs to the roll.

"The hardest part is actually the dyeing part of it. It took 10 hours to just hard-boil 10,000 eggs and then it takes longer to dye them because it's a five-stage process," Watson told NPR, adding that he has been donating eggs to the White House for the roll on and off for 12 years.

The American Egg Board also presented a commemorative egg to the first lady, a yearly tradition since 1977. The hand-painted chicken egg features images of children reading and stacks of books with the words "unity," "compassion" and "kindness" written on the spines. Inside the egg is a smaller chicken egg with a hand-painted bunny.

One student from 56 states and territories also each designed an egg now on display at the White House.

Easter eggs designed by students from all 56 states and territories are on display at the East Colonnade of the White House.
Alex Wong / Getty Images
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Getty Images
Easter eggs designed by students from all 56 states and territories are on display at the East Colonnade of the White House.

The event comes as egg prices could be leveling out after sharp increases earlier this year due to the bird flu, continued supply chain issues and other disruptions. In February, retail egg prices were down 6.7% from January, but still up 55% from February last year.

New consumer data will be available later this week.

A new official White House bunny is unveiled

The Schenz Theatrical Supply in Cincinnati provided the costumes for the event each year, but bunny costumedesigner John Schenz died in 2020, and the shop closed in 2022.

Former President Donald Trump (L) lifts the hand of a person in an Easter Bunny costume on the Truman Balcony during the 140th annual Easter Egg Roll on the South Lawn of the White House April 2, 2018 in Washington, D.C.
Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images
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Getty Images
Former President Donald Trump (L) lifts the hand of a person in an Easter Bunny costume on the Truman Balcony during the 140th annual Easter Egg Roll on the South Lawn of the White House April 2, 2018 in Washington, D.C.

On Monday, the White House welcomed new bunnies to town. The new bunny costumes are sponsored by the White House Historical Society.

First lady Jill Biden, alongside the Easter Bunny waves at the annual Easter Egg Roll.
Andrew Caballero-Reynolds / AFP via Getty Images
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AFP via Getty Images
First lady Jill Biden, alongside the Easter Bunny waves at the annual Easter Egg Roll.
President Biden, alongside the Easter Bunny (L), gestures after speaking at the annual Easter Egg Roll.
Andrew Caballero-Reynolds / AFP via Getty Images
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AFP via Getty Images
President Biden, alongside the Easter Bunny (L), gestures after speaking at the annual Easter Egg Roll.

In 1969, one of First Lady Pat Nixon's staff put on a fleecy white costume, and the tradition of an official White House Easter Bunny was born, according to the White House Historical Society. Mystique behind who was inside grew during the Trump administration when it was revealed that then-press secretary Sean Spicer donned the costume in the mid-2000s.

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Ximena Bustillo
Ximena Bustillo is a multi-platform reporter at NPR covering politics out of the White House and Congress on air and in print.
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