The White House's south lawn is open Monday for one of Washington's most anticipated traditions - the annual Easter egg roll. The Obama family will host the roll, where a record 30,000 people - 10,000 more than any other year - will scramble to find the precious eggs. The event's theme is Let's go play, encouraging young people to leave healthy, active lives.
However, the main focus of the event is allowing the 30,000 egg rollers in attendance to tramp through the White House lawn in search of eggs. The attendees represent 45 states as well as the District of Colombia. Over 30,000 wooden eggs have been made for the event, souvenirs for the children attending the roll. In addition 13,000 hard boiled eggs have been dyed for the hunt.
In addition to its record attendance, this year's egg roll is the first to be streamed live online, part of President Barack Obama's pledge to use more technology at the White House. Another change reflecting the updated roll is the distribution of tickets online, rather than in person.
Along with egg hunting, the healthy living aspect of the egg roll encouraged the participants to run, and even offered yoga.
The event represents a break in Obama's busy schedule, and a brief respite from economic worries. However, Obama said Friday he is starting to see glimmers of hope on the economic horizon, but urged Americans to persevere on the bumpy road to recovery.
Fresh from a meeting with key officials including Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, and Sheila Bair, chairman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., Obama noted that the economy remains under severe stress, but insisted, We're starting to see signs of progress.
If we stick with it and don't flinch in the wake of some difficulties, we will see improvements, said the president.
Obama said that government regulators met to discuss the ongoing stabilization of the financial system and the steps that have already been taken.
Praising the work of Bernanke and the coordinated activities between the various agencies, Obama noted signs of stabilization on the housing front.
What we've seen is mortgage interest rates go down to historic lows and we've seen a very significant pick-up in refinancings, remarked Obama. That has the effect of not only putting money in the pockets of people but also contributing to stabilization of the housing market.
Obama on Thursday met with several families who have recently refinanced their homes in an event designed to highlight the administration's efforts to address the housing crisis.
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