President Bush blew a whistle and eight youngsters charged across a stretch of White House grass Monday morning, pushing hard-boiled eggs with plastic spoons.
But for one contestant, 7-year-old Michael Angel, the annual Easter Egg Roll was an Easter Egg Run. He sprinted across the 10-yard course with his egg in the spoon."He's pretty's cool," Michael said afterward of the race starter, who made a brief appearance with his wife, Barbara.
Thousands of youngsters spilled over the White House lawn in the annual Easter Monday ritual that began in the 19th century. At least 20,000 were expected by day's end.
Egg rolling was not the only activity on the White House lawn under blue skies and temperatures near 70 degrees. There were clowns, troubadours, an Abe Lincoln look-alike, balloon-blowers, minstrels and a hunt for wooden eggs, many signed by celebrities.
All of the Easter Egg Roll entrants received the same reward: colored wooden eggs bearing the names of George and Barbara Bush.