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11 Fun White House Easter Egg Roll Moments

Easter Egg Roll
Chip Somodevilla, Getty Images

The White House Easter Egg Roll is a tradition that goes back to 1878. In the beginning, the event was mostly just the roll itself, with children pushing painted eggs through the White House Lawn with a long-handled spoon.

But these days, it is much more than that. Now it’s a 11 hour event that about 35,000 kids and their parents attend.

In addition to live music and dancing and other fun activities, politicians and celebrities read books to the children. In fact, it’s one of the hostest tickets in town, with hundreds of thousands entering a lottery in the hopes of snagging one of the spots.

But if you didn’t get a ticket this year — or live too far away to attend — we’ve compiled 10 videos of the White House Easter Egg Roll from years past so you can get a taste of what it’s like. Check them out below, and you can also see photos from the event’s 134 year history here.

The Obamas Officiate the 2009 Easter Egg Roll

The 2009 Easter Egg Roll took place not long after Barack Obama was inaugurated as the 44th president. As you can see, he and first lady Michelle were very excited to host the event. Barack kicked off the egg roll portion of the event with a whistle, and an ever present giant bunny helped entertain the youngsters.

The Cast of ‘Glee’ Sings ‘Don’t Stop Believing’

During the 2010 Easter Egg Roll the cast of the then new show ‘Glee’ sang  ’Don’t Stop Believing.’ Lea Michele, Cory Monteith and the rest of the gang sound pretty good live, it turns out. While the video suggests they might be lip-syncing, we’re pretty sure the sound and the visual are just a tick out of sync. Regardless, the crowd, led by Michelle Obama, gave them a hearty applause.

Justin Bieber Performs ‘Baby’

Barack Obama is willing to be upstaged at his own Easter egg hunt. If he wasn’t he never would’ve invited Justin Bieber to perform. Because even the most powerful man in the world is no match for the Canadian pop sensation’s appeal when it comes to the elementary school set. And the kids certainly do scream for the Biebs when he performs ‘Baby.’

Highlights From the 2010 Easter Egg Roll

The Easter egg roll isn’t just a hot ticket because of the  roll. There is also plenty of entertainment, as you’ve been seeing. Kids also have the opportunity to shoot some hoops with the president, and do yoga on the White House Lawn.

Barack Obama Reads ‘Where The Wild Things Are’

Reading books to the assembled crowd is another Easter Egg Roll tradition. In 2009, Barack Obama read Maurice Sendak’s classic children’s book ‘Where The Wild Things Are.’ As you can see, he added his own improvisations to the classic tale, while his daughters Sasha and Malia looked on.

Barack Obama Reads ‘Green Eggs And Ham’

Perhaps ‘Where The Wild Things Are’ proved too scary for some of the youngsters in 2009, because in 2010 Obama returned with a book that makes no mention of monsters. Although ‘Green Eggs and Ham’ does encourage picky eating. Wonder what Michelle thought of that.

Ziggy Marley Sings ‘One Love’

One doesn’t necessarily associate Ziggy Marley with little kids or Easter. But when you hear him perform his dad Bob’s song ‘One Love’ at the 2009 White House Easter Egg Roll, it all makes sense. There’s quite a vocal resemblance between father and son, don’t ya think?

Kristi Yamaguchi Reads ‘Dream Big Little Pig’

1992 Olympic champion Kristi Yamaguchi is known for her figure skating. But in 2011 she proved she could also be a great teacher or librarian with this gold medal rendition of the inspiring kid’s tale ‘Dream Big Little Pig’ at the White House Easter Egg Roll.

The Jonas Brothers Perform ‘When You Look Me In The Eyes’

The Jonas Brothers were the big stars of the 2008 Easter Egg Roll, performing multiple songs and the national anthem. This version of their hit ‘When You Look Me in The Eye’ got the crowd moving and singing along. Who says Easter can’t be a little funky?

George W. Bush Kicks off the 2002 Easter Egg Roll

While most of these videos have been from Barack Obama’s presidency, here’s one from 2002 that proves George W. Bush and his first lady Barbara love Easter and kids and giant bunnies just as much as his successor. (It also proves that the video quality in 2002 wasn’t so hot.)

Dicky Cheney Shoots the White House Easter Bunny

Perhaps this video explains why the Bush administration suppressed video of past Easter Egg rolls. Turns out a (fake) Cheney used the event as an opportunity to go hunting.

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