By Courtney Dock-Abuhl, Pentagram EditorApril 16, 2012
For 134 years, children of all ages have had the opportunity to visit the White House each spring and hunt for brightly colored treasures on the south lawn. The annual Egg Roll event, held Easter Monday, April 9, saw more than 30,000 parents and children enjoy "egg-citing" activities including egg rolling, hunting and musical performances on the Rock and Egg Roll stage and sports and fitness egg-tivities. This year's theme was "Let's Go, Let's Play, Let's Move," reinforcing First Lady Michelle O'bama's Let's Move campaign to fight childhood obesity.
The event is free, however, getting a ticket takes some mega-millions luck. Some of Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall's servicemembers and their Families were fortunate to get tickets. Pfc. Brady Douglas, 289th Military Police Company, and his wife, Audrey, entered into the official Egg Roll lottery through the National Parks Service's website. Finding out they had won tickets was as much of a shock as winning the actual lottery.
"The email confirmation ended up going into my junk email," said Audrey. "I went on to the reservations sight to see if we got tickets and we did. We were so excited. We were in Iowa with Family and they were also excited."
This was the first time for the Douglas Family, including daughter Lyra, 2, at not only the Egg Roll, but also the White House.
"We have never been to the White House before or seen it up close," she explained. "It was truly a blessing to be able to be on the lawn of the White House and to see it as up close as we did."
For Sgt. LaQuanius Cutner, Headquarters and Service Battalion Henderson Hall, her lucky tickets were distributed through her command.
"I was ecstatic that I got tickets. I put my name on a roster and I got approved to go through my command," said Cutner. She called her grandmother to tell her the good news and "within five minutes" her entire Family knew. Cutner says her enthusiastic grandmother is very proactive when it comes to sharing exciting Family news.
Her daughter's favorite activity was the musical performances and egg hunt. Laila was a skilled hunter and found a special, golden egg, winning an extra keepsake. The extra swag was the official Easter Egg Roll poster, designed by 9-year-old Reed Preston Lindsey from Booneville, Miss.
Douglas's daughter Lyra's favorite part of the day was meeting Dora the Explorer and dancing to a concert performance on the Rock and Egg Roll stage.
"She loves music and to be in the front row of the concert made it even more fun for her," said Douglas. The performers, the McClain Sisters, are a pop music group whose debut hit is the lead single for Disneynature's film Chimpanzee.
Another popular egg-tivity was the yoga garden. "I was glad Mrs. Obama added the yoga portion, although I was dressed too nicely to get down and get my outfit dirty," said Cutner. "If I was dressed appropriately I would have gotten some yoga in."
"My best memory of the egg roll was being able to share the experience of seeing the White House and be on the lawn of the White House with my Family," Douglas said. "It was hard for me to keep up with my husband and my daughter being eight months pregnant, but being able to share this experience with my 2-year-old made it worth it."