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Obamas host Halloween at the White House

By the CNN Wire Staff
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White House celebrates Halloween
  • Students and children of military families trick-or-treat on the president's lawn
  • Participants are given M&M's, a sweet dough butter cookie and dried fruit
  • Obama does not dress up for Halloween

Washington (CNN) -- President Barack Obama welcomed area students and children of military families Sunday to celebrate Halloween at the White House.

Joined by his wife, Michelle, the president handed out treats to the gaggles of costumed children gathered on the lawn. Neither the president nor his wife dressed up.

The trick-or-treaters -- ranging in age from 6 to 14 -- were from schools in the Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia areas, the White House said.

They were greeted by a boisterous brass band and by adults dressed up as quintessential Halloween characters like Dracula and Frankenstein. Participants were given M&M's, a sweet dough butter cookie and dried fruit.

Fake spider webs and bats decorated the portico of the White House, while pumpkins spotted the yard.

The celebration was a light-hearted break for Obama, who has been crisscrossing the country in full campaign mode ahead of Tuesday's congressional elections.

At stake are all 435 House seats and 37 of the 100 Senate seats, along with almost 40 gubernatorial races.

His Democratic party is poised to lose seats in both chambers, and perhaps its House majority. Speaking at a Cleveland State University rally earlier Sunday, Obama urged people to get out and vote.