President Trump blew the whistle on Monday to kick off his first White House Easter Egg Roll, praising the strength of the United States and the competitive spirit of the children participating, as his staff worked to carry off a 139-year-old tradition that has faced scheduling and organizational challenges.
On an overcast morning punctuated by showers, Mr. Trump emerged on the White House balcony with his wife, Melania Trump, and youngest son, Barron, along with the Easter bunny to greet attendees of the annual springtime festival on the South Lawn. The elaborate and labor-intensive Egg Roll is among the most daunting social events the presidential staff has to plan.
“We will be stronger and bigger and better as a nation than ever before, and we are right on track,” Mr. Trump said as he overlooked the festivities, where children gathered for the marquee race, in which eggs are rolled across the White House lawn with a wooden spoon. “I’ve seen those kids, and they’re highly, highly competitive.”
Mr. Trump thanked and congratulated his wife, who he said has “been working on this for a long time, to make it perfect.”