Heard on the Hill

'Bittersweet' Last Egg Roll for the Obamas

The 138th annual Easter Egg Roll brought celebrities to the White House lawn

President Barack Obama lifts a young girl in the air during the White House Easter Egg Roll. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

Monday marked the final Easter Egg Roll for the first family, and they were intent on doing it right.  

Storm troopers from "Star Wars" escorted the president around the White House lawn. Idina Menzel from "Frozen" sang her hit song: "Let it Go." And 35,000 people mingled with "Sesame Street" characters and other celebrities as the sun appeared for the 138th  annual egg roll.  

“It’s bittersweet for us,” first lady Michelle Obama said. Telling the crowd this is her last egg roll drew an overwhelming “boo” from thousands of parents and children.  

UNITED STATES - MARCH 28 - Young attendees roll easter eggs during the White House Easter Egg Roll, on the South Lawn of the White House, in Washington, Monday, March 28, 2016. The first White House Easter Egg Roll was held in 1878 under President Rutherford B. Hayes. (Photo By Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)
Around 35,000 children and parents rolled eggs and mingled with costumed characters, celebrities and the Obamas on Monday morning during the White House Easter Egg Roll. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

“One of the goals we had was to open up the White House to as many people as possible,” she said. The theme this year was "Let’s Celebrate!" The first lady said they are celebrating “all the great work that we’ve done.”  

Awkward Photos of Presidents With Easter Bunnies

Menzel opened the event, singing the national anthem on the White House balcony, surrounded by the first lady, President Barack Obama and the Easter Bunny. “Any adults who feel like they can hang, run around with me,” Michelle Obama said as she and the president left the podium.  

UNITED STATES - MARCH 28 - President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama walk down the stairs with the Easter Bunny during the White House Easter Egg Roll, on the South Lawn of the White House, in Washington, Monday, March 28, 2016. The first White House Easter Egg Roll was held in 1878 under President Rutherford B. Hayes. (Photo By Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)
President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama and their dogs walk down the stairs with the Easter Bunny during the White House Easter Egg Roll. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

Playing referee, President Obama blew the whistle to start the egg roll — a game of toddlers pushing an egg across the finish line with a wooden spoon. These eggs were from the 30,000 hard boiled eggs donated to the event by the American Egg Board, which also provided children with chalk eggs to write on the pavement.

UNITED STATES - MARCH 28 - A young attendee sits on her dad's shoulder during the White House Easter Egg Roll, on the South Lawn of the White House, in Washington, Monday, March 28, 2016. The first White House Easter Egg Roll was held in 1878 under President Rutherford B. Hayes. (Photo By Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)
A young bunny sits on her dad's shoulder during Monday's festivities. President Rutherford B. Hayes started the tradition in 1878. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

Surrounded by first dogs, Bo and Sunny, Obama picked up babies and shared high fives with children. The Obamas then moved to story time after taking a small break in a tent outside the field.  

The first lady asked the story time group, “Are you happy?” To screams, she replied, “Well, that’s good.”  

The president then began reading the classic egg roll picture book, "Where the Wild Things Area," complete with loud roars from Obama and the children.  

Michelle Obama then read, ‘The Rainbow Fish,’ and asked the children afterwards what the moral of the story was. She then hugged all of her listeners. Meanwhile, the older Obama daughter, Malia, strolled around and welcomed visitors to her lawn.  

Beyond Menzel, the event drew celebrities including basketball legend Shaquille O'Neal, D.C.-based chef José Andrés, "Watch Me (Whip/Nae Nae)" rapper Silentó, D.C. radio host Tommy McFly, and "Sesame Street" characters, among others.  

UNITED STATES - MARCH 28 - Stormtroopers wait near black SUV's during the White House Easter Egg Roll, on the South Lawn of the White House, in Washington, Monday, March 28, 2016. The first White House Easter Egg Roll was held in 1878 under President Rutherford B. Hayes. (Photo By Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)
"Stars Wars" style Storm troopers prepare to escort Obama during  the White House Easter Egg Roll.  (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

Get breaking news alerts and more from Roll Call on your iPhone.