UPDATE 3/15: The lottery for tickets opened on March 15; see below.
By Patricia Hall, FairfaxFamilyFun.com
It’s official: The White House Easter Egg Roll 2017 is happening! Spring and Easter will be here before soon, and that means the return of the White House Easter Egg Roll. Each year, the White House hosts members of the general public (and some special invited guests) to enjoy an old-fashioned egg roll on the lawn. This year’s event will take place on Monday, April 17, 2017.
The Easter Egg Roll has become a major happening (it’s actually the biggest event hosted at the White House), but its fate for this year had been uncertain because of its late announcement.
For many years, the limited tickets to the free event were distributed on a first-come, first served basis. For some local families, it became an annual tradition to go stand in line (sometimes for hours) to claim tickets. During the Obama administration, distribution of tickets moved to an online lottery system that would take place about six weeks before the event. With that timeframe narrowing this year and no official announcement about the event, there was speculation that the White House Easter Egg Roll 2017 may not take place, with some news outlets questioning if it would happen or if the new administration would do away with the tradition.
However, today the White House announced that the Easter Egg Roll will take place as expected on April 17 2017: “President Donald J. Trump and First Lady Melania Trump are happy to announce initial details for the 139th White House Easter Egg Roll,” the announcement states, noting that tickets will again be distributed on a lottery basis. The White House announcement provided no further details, merely noting that “further information, including the specific timing of the lottery, will be released later this month.”
UPDATE 3/15/2017: You can now enter the lottery through the Recreation.gov site (an official government website). The lottery opened today at noon and will run through noon on Saturday, March 18, 2017. The results will be announced on Friday, March 31 (you can check the status on your Recreation.gov account or look for an email notification.)
The egg roll is one of those “unique to Washington” events where demand outweighs supplies, but it’s also kind of a complicated event because of the large attendance and restrictions. If you want to be part of a DC tradition and have the chance to be up-close to the White House, it can be an interesting experience. However, you also can expect multiple security check points, long waits, and very long lines, so keep your schedules and your children’s patience in mind if you sign up for the lottery. We attended the White House Easter Egg Roll last year, and while it was fun, it also was exhausting. We will provide tips soon for those who plan to sign up for the lottery.