April 25th, 2011
01:45 PM ET
WASHINGTON (CNN) – With the Easter Bunny at their side, the first family opened up their backyard to 30,000 people from all 50 states for the annual action packed Easter Egg Roll on Monday.
As Colbie Caillat sang the national anthem, President Obama appeared on the Truman Balcony overlooking the South Lawn with the first lady, their daughters Sasha and Malia, and his mother-in-law, Marian Robinson. “I want to introduce somebody who is doing extraordinary work helping military families, making sure everybody’s up and moving," Obama said as he introduced his wife, whose “Let’s Move!” initiative, a program designed to combat childhood obesity, inspired the theme of this years egg roll, “Get Up and Go!”
“Everybody ready? Everybody feel good about their form,” the president asked the young contestants a few minutes later just as he blew the whistle to kick off the egg rolling competition. Malia and Sasha joined their father as he high-fived the eventual winner of the first race, and posed for pictures along with the Easter Bunny and Mrs. Obama.
There was also a station where White House chefs, along with a few celebrity guest chefs, used their expertise to help prepare and demonstrate healthy cooking ideas. Mrs. Obama took part in a cooking class with Al Roker, and Chef Jacques Pepin as they demonstrated how to make healthy crepes. As she took turns flipping a crepe in a pan, the first lady told her guests about Sasha’s love of searing foods under the tutelage of White House chefs, and that it was still possible to enjoy great tasting food while eating healthy. She said she was working with her organization to find ways to make local farm markets more affordable and accessible.
Physical activity was also part of the theme, and professional basketball players Nick Young, Darrel Dawkins, and Elena Beard were on hand to help practice layups on the White House basketball court. President Obama joined tennis greats Chris Evert and Patrick McEnroe on the White House tennis court for a tennis clinic. On his way back inside the White House, Obama told the press he had played a little tennis with Evert, but did not win.
Tickets for the Easter Egg roll were distributed through an online lottery system. The tradition dates back to 1878.