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easter monday

Donald Trump hosts Easter Egg Roll (and Sean Spicer met his rabbit replacement)

We’re sorry to say that Sean Spencer didn’t return to his role as the fluffy White House Easter Bunny.

Trump Easter Egg Roll Carolyn Kaster Carolyn Kaster

US PRESIDENT DONALD Trump and his wife Melania hosted thousands of citizens who flooded the White House for Easter celebrations today.

Opening his first White House ‘Easter Egg Roll’, President Donald Trump welcomed thousands of kids, and some adults, reveled in the time-honoured tradition of rolling hard-boiled eggs across the manicured lawn in his backyard.

DC: US President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump Attend the Annual White House Easter Egg Roll SIPA USA / PA Images SIPA USA / PA Images / PA Images

“This is the 139th Easter Egg Roll. Think of it, 139,” Trump said, welcoming families to the annual event.

“And we will be stronger and bigger and better as a nation than ever before. We’re right on track,” he said, speaking of the nation’s strength under fewer than 100 days of his leadership.

DC: US President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump attend the annual White House Easter Egg roll US First Lady Melania Trump reads a book to children. SIPA USA / PA Images SIPA USA / PA Images / PA Images

Trump’s wife Melania, their 11-year-old son Barron, and the Easter Bunny flanked Trump on a balcony overlooking the expansive lawn before they went downstairs to join some of the 21,000 people who were expected to attend one of the biggest social event every year at the White House.

Before joining the festivities with his family, Trump thanked his wife for “working on this for a long time to make it perfect.”

Rabbit replacement

This picture of press secretary Sean Spicer and the Easter Bunny also put some speculation to bed:

News: White House Easter Egg Roll SIPA USA / PA Images SIPA USA / PA Images / PA Images

There were rumours that Spicer would be the fluffy festive rabbit, as was his role under the Bush administration.

Alas it wasn’t to be (there’s always next year).

Trump Easter Egg Roll Coloured Easter eggs are ready to be used during the White House Easter Egg Roll. Carolyn Kaster Carolyn Kaster

Earlier, there was some speculation about whether the Trumps would be able to pull off a successful “egg-stravaganza.” Planning seemed to get off to a late start, with the Trumps taking longer than in previous years to announce Monday’s date.

Both Trump and the first lady have been slow to fill White House jobs, and at least one regular egg roll vendor took to Twitter, the president’s favourite social medium, to remind the White House that a deadline for ordering the wooden eggs that are given out as souvenirs was approaching.

But the egg rolling event, which dates back to 1878, wouldn’t be made to disappear.

Michael McGee Michael McGee, aged 5, poses with an Easter bunny (not to be confused with Sean Spicer). Carolyn Kaster Carolyn Kaster

What events were on?

But it was just made smaller, down from the 35,000 people who got tickets last year, but keeping the main events including the reading nook, an area to send messages to US troops, and an entertainment stage.

“As we renew this tradition, thank you for joining us,” the first lady said.

President Trump at the White House Easter Egg Roll - Washington First lady Melania Trump reads 'Party Animals' by Kathie Lee Gifford. Sachs Ron / CNP/ABACA Sachs Ron / CNP/ABACA / CNP/ABACA

Moments later, Trump blew a whistle three times, each time sending groups of youngsters scurrying to deftly use a wooden spoon to maneuver their dyed egg several yards across the finish line. He, the first lady and Barron also joined kids at a table to colour cards to send to US service members.

Trump’s older sons, Don Jr and Eric, and their wives, and daughter Tiffany also attended.

Easter Washington Steve Bloom / PA Images Steve Bloom / PA Images / PA Images

Seven-year-old Johnny Wilmer of Arlington, Virginia, said his egg-rolling effort ended with a second-place finish. It was his first Easter egg roll, and he said while he and his father, Jack, waited for Trump to appear that the experience had been “great.”

Over at the reading area, Melania read “Party Animals,” a story about celebrating differences written by television personality Kathie Lee Gifford.

Trump Easter Egg Roll Eggitha from the Virginia Egg Council has her Easter bonnet straightened. Carolyn Kaster Carolyn Kaster

Costumed characters roaming the grounds included Elmo from “Sesame Street,” Dr Seuss’ Cat in the Hat, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and some of the Racing Presidents, who are mascots for the Washington Nationals of Major League Baseball.

Read: Sean Spicer used to have another job in the White House… as the Easter Bunny

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