President Obama and the first family kicked off the 134th annual White House Easter Egg Roll by welcoming thousands of parents and children who journeyed to the nation’s Capitol and onto the South Lawn.

The president, flushed by his wife Michelle and daughters Malia and Sasha, wished everyone a happy Easter.

“We are so thrilled that all of you could join us today,” he said. “My job is very simple, it is to introduce the powerhouse of the White House.”

“Thank you, honey,” said first lady Michelle Obama in jest.

“My job is simple as well,” she said, adding her own words of welcome and a caution for her husband about competing in an egg roll. “I think the president is going to try and beat a three-year-old. I hope he does not.”

The first family descended to the South Lawn, along with family dog Bo and Michelle Obama’s mother, Marian Robinson.

The president and first lady led the familial cheering section during the egg-roll race, took photographs with parents and then proceeded to the telling stage to read books. The Obama daughters, Malia and Sasha, made rare public remarks in a reading of a children’s book, “A Sick Day for Amos McGee, written by Phillip C. Stead

The president followed them with a reading of “Where the Wild Things Are,” by Maurice Sendak. When the president elicited animal noises from the mostly children audience during his reading of the book, it enticed howls at one point from from the family dog, Bo . “I love this book,”
Obama said.

The event featured live performances on several stages. Characters from Sesame Street, including Elmo, entertained crowds at the Rock ‘n’ Egg Roll Stage. A chef conducted cooking demonstrations at the Play With Your Food station. And celebrities including Julianne Moore were scheduled to participate in book readings at the Storytime Stage.

The above photo is from previous years. Take a look at a few of the photos from 2012:

— terry shropshire

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