(WASHINGTON) -- Although official tours remain cancelled due to budget cuts, President Obama on Monday welcomed thousands to the White House for the Easter Egg Roll.
“It is wonderful to see all of you,” the president said as he kicked off the annual event with the Easter Bunny by his side.
One month after tours were cancelled due to sequester cuts, roughly 30,000 people enjoyed rare access to the White House at the 135th Easter Egg Roll.
Looking over the crowd gathered on the sunny South Lawn, the first lady urged families to “have a good time and keep moving and be healthy” at this year’s activity-filled event, in line with its “Be Healthy, Be Active, Be You!" theme.
The president and first lady, along with daughters Malia and Sasha, first grandmother Marian Robinson and dog Bo headed straight to the Easter Egg Roll, where they cheered on two contests.
“Is everybody ready?” the president asked, as children lined up with wooden spoons to roll their eggs down the lawn. Nine-year-old Internet sensation Kid President stood next to the real president and blew the whistle to start the roll.
The first lady helped some of the smaller tots push their eggs through the grass as the president applauded from the sidelines.
“Good job!” Obama said, as he doled out high fives to the kids after the roll.
“This is the champion right here,” he said, as he pointed out the little boy who won with just one shot.
The president shook hands and posed for pictures. Then it was off to the reading corner, where Obama, with Bo by his side, read Chika Chika Boom Boom, one of his “favorites.”
Meanwhile, children and their families enjoyed live music from Jordin Sparks, Sesame Street and The Wanted, among others, while a host of pro-athletes challenged children at the “eggtivity zone” on the tennis and basketball courts, and celebrity chefs whipped up healthy meals at the cooking stations.
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio