By Michael E. Ruane
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
Tickets to the White House's annual Easter Egg Roll will for the first time be distributed online.
Gone is the first-come, first-served timed ticket distribution at the visitors kiosk on the Ellipse the week before the roll and the smaller giveaway the morning of the roll.
Those procedures, in place for the past eight years, replaced the traditional marathon waiting line for tickets that often began on Easter and lasted into Monday, the day of the roll.
The free tickets are being made available online so "more children and families from across the United States have the opportunity to experience this event," the White House said.
The event is scheduled for April 13, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on the South Lawn of the White House. Tickets are available at www.whitehouse.gov/eastereggroll starting Thursday.
The misnamed Easter Egg Roll dates to 1878. (Eggs are more often flung, or otherwise launched, than rolled.) About 10,000 hard-boiled eggs are used. This year's theme is "let's go play," the White House said, and is aimed at encouraging youngsters to lead healthy and active lives.
The event is open to children 10 and younger, along with their families. There also will be sports, cooking classes, live music and storytelling.
The tickets, which are timed for entrance and exit, will be e-mailed, the White House said. A maximum of six tickets will be issued per order. There must be at least one child 10 or younger and no more than two adults per group. Tickets are required for everyone, including small children and infants.
Last year, about 18,000 people attended. It was not immediately clear how many tickets will be available this year.