The White House is trying to re-calibrate expectations for this year’s White House Easter Egg Roll after the Obama family’s celebrity-heavy events — which last year featured appearances by Beyoncé, athletes from the NBA and NFL and “Frozen” theme song singer Idina Menzel.
Politico said on Sunday that President Donald Trump’s administration got started late on planning the traditional event and is now sending out spokespeople to temper the public’s anticipation by repeatedly asserting that it’s not about celebrities or special guests, it’s about the children.
“The focus this year is on the quality of the children’s experience,” said Stephanie Grisham — First Lady Melania Trump’s newly hired spokeswoman.
As with so much else about Trump’s chaotic, disorganized White House, planning for the annual Easter Egg Roll — which is held the Monday after Easter Sunday each year — got off to a faltering start.
“Three people familiar with the effort say that planning for the egg roll didn’t begin in earnest until late February,” said Politico, “when the White House placed its order for commemorative wooden eggs — a step taken only after the Maine-based manufacturer, Wells Wood Turning, posted a plaintive message on Twitter warning that its Easter deadlines were approaching and asking the White House to “please reach out.” (The post has since been deleted.)”
And while the administration currently has a great deal on its plate with the president’s historically low approval rating, a simmering war in Syria and an increasingly restive right-wing base, the Easter Egg Roll looms large among White House traditions as an opportunity for administrations to showcase their First Ladies’ projects and initiatives like Michelle Obama’s “Let’s move” program encouraging kids to get more exercise.
“Dating back to 1876, it’s the largest open event on the grounds, which were closed to the public during World War II,” wrote Politico’s Nancy Cook.
When pressed about who will attend, the size of the crowd expected and whether or not First Lady Melania Trump will be on hand, Grisham said, “We would really like the event to speak for itself.”
Musical guests the Martin Family Circus — a Nashville-based family act — told Politico they only heard from the Trump administration a few weeks ago and are still currently unsure where they will be staying in Washington. They also still don’t know where they will park their family RV or how many sets of music they are expected to play.
“I get the impression that things will continue to change up to the day of,” said Paul Martin, father and leader of the group. “We’ll just be along for the ride.”