White House Events
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White House Events
December at the White House
The White House is decorated for Christmas during December every year. Even before you enter the State Dining Room, you can smell the gingerbread. The White House gingerbread-house tradition began during the Nixon administration, and has been continued by the White House pastry chefs ever since.
Since 1961 the Christmas tree in the Blue Room has reflected themes. In 1974 the Fords' Christmas-tree ornaments emphasized thrift and recycling. In 1977 the Carters' tree had ornaments made by members of the National Association of Retarded Citizens. In 1991 the Bushes' tree featured needlepoint figurines.
December is far and away the most difficult time of year to secure a tour. The White House is able to accommodate fewer than 10% of the tour requests it receives.
Easter Egg Roll
Kids have been rolling Easter eggs at the White House since at least 1878. Over the years the Egg Rolls have evolved into elaborate affairs with bands and bunnies. The event is held the Monday after Easter, from 8 am to 2 pm on the South Lawn of the White House.
Tickets are distributed via an online lottery system. Each group has to include at least one child 12 years old or under and no more than two adults. Tickets are required for every attendee, including small children, to enter the White House South Lawn. No tickets are necessary for access to activities on the Ellipse.
For the most up-to-date information on the Easter Egg Roll, call the White House 24-hour information line at 202/456-7041.
Planning a Visit
To visit the White House, you have to make arrangements through your representative or senator. You can find their contact information on the Web at www.house.gov and www.senate.gov. (You can also find them in your local phone book.)
Don't be reluctant to contact them—it's part of their job, and they have lots of experience handling such requests. Some will even invite you to meet with them and talk about your interests and concerns.
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