A new, oversized set of floppy ears will take their place on the White House’s Truman Balcony on Monday.
It’s time for the annual White House Easter Egg Roll, the festive – if kitschy – annual tradition dating to the 1870s. And this year, the iconic Easter Bunny, normally played by a good-humored staffer, is getting a much-needed upgrade.
“After years of using loaned Easter Bunny costumes, we are ‘egg-cited’ to have our own Official White House Easter Bunny Family, thanks to the generous support of the White House Historical Association,” Vanessa Valdivia, spokesperson for first lady Jill Biden, told CNN exclusively.
While it may seem eggs-tra amid the important work of the White House and the pressing news of the day, the bunny suit and event more broadly signify an American tradition that has somehow withstood intense political polarization.
“There are certain things that are part of the American fabric. Tradition is what makes a country unique. Every country has things that are woven into its fabric, and this is one of ours,” Sean Spicer told CNN in a recent interview. (The onetime Trump White House press secretary had donned the White House Easter Bunny costume during the George W. Bush administration when he served as assistant US trade representative for media and public affairs.)
A little-known secret from experienced White House bunnies is that, usually, multiple people play the role in hour-plus-long shifts over the course of the day’s events.
“The big lesson learned is – be the first person,” Spicer said. “Early is key. Doesn’t matter what the temperature is – the suit gets hot and gross, quick.”
Monday’s event will be President Joe Biden and Jill Biden’s second crack at the Easter tradition, marking the 143rd White House Easter Egg Roll. The theme of the event, the first lady’s office said, is “EGGucation” for a second year in a row, and the South Lawn and Ellipse will be transformed “into a school community, full of fun educational activities for children of all ages.”
It will feature a “School House Activity Area, Reading Nook, Talent Show, Field Trip to the Farm, Picture Day, a Physical ‘EGGucation’ Zone, a Snack Time Tent and more,” her office said.