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White House Easter Egg Roll 2012: History Of A Great Tradition (PHOTOS)

Posted: 04/ 6/2012 2:48 pm Updated: 04/ 9/2012 10:24 am

Obama Easter
US President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama and daughter Malia (L) walk to the South Lawn for the annual Easter egg roll April 25, 2011, at the White House in Washington, DC.

WASHINGTON -- It's time for thousands of kids to roll thousands of eggs across the White House lawn!

More than 35,000 people are expected to take part in the 2012 White House Easter Egg Roll, being held on Monday.

(WATCH: Live coverage)

This year marks the 134th anniversary of the event, which used to be held on the Capitol grounds until the late 1870s when Congress, worried about damage to the grass, passed a law ending this tradition. President Rutherford B. Hayes moved the roll to the White House lawn in 1878.

This year's theme is “Let's Go, Let's Play, Let's Move” in recognition of First Lady Michelle Obama's anti-obesity campaigns. Activities during the day will include cooking demonstrations, sports, hunting for hidden eggs and the egg roll itself, a contest to roll brightly-colored eggs across the White House lawn using wooden spoons.

Here's what the egg roll has looked like in previous years:

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  • 1944 White House Easter Egg Roll

  • 1966 White House Easter Egg Roll

    Children cheerfully play on the South Lawn during the celebration.

  • 1982 White House Easter Egg Roll

    A child hugs the Easter Bunny during the festivities. The first official White House Easter Bunny started in 1969, when one of First Lady Pat Nixon's staffers decided to don the costume. It has become an important part of the event ever since.

  • 2002 White House Easter Egg Roll

    Children use spoons to roll Easter eggs down the South Lawn to the finish line.

  • 2011 White House Easter Egg Roll

    A statue of Bo, the Obama family dog, is seen during the annual Easter egg roll April 25, 2011 on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, DC.

  • 2006 White House Easter Egg Roll

    Thousands of eggs are dyed by White House chefs each year and used for the races and egg hunts.

  • 1923 White House Easter Egg Roll

    Warren Sonnemann grins as he holds up the prize basket he received for winning the Easter Egg Roll. April 2, 1923.

  • 1925 White House Easter Egg Roll

  • 1889 White House Easter Egg Roll

  • 1927 White House Easter Egg Roll

    Mrs. Coolidge exhibits her pet raccoon [Rebecca] to crowds of children gathered for Easter egg rolling.

  • 2011 White House Easter Egg Roll

    US President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle read a book to children as Bo, the family dog, looks on during the annual Easter egg roll April 25, 2011 on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, DC.

  • 1923 White House Easter Egg Roll

  • 2011 White House Easter Egg Roll

    US President Barack Obama tries to hit the ball between his legs as he plays with tennis legend Chris Evert while participating in the 2011 White House Easter Egg Roll at the White House in Washington, DC, April 25, 2011, which saw nearly 30,000 visitors from around the nation.

  • 1923 White House Easter Egg Roll

  • 2011 White House Easter Egg Roll

    Children participate in the 2011 White House Easter Egg Roll at the White House in Washington, DC, April 25, 2011, which saw nearly 30,000 visitors from around the nation.

  • 1898 White House Easter Egg Roll

  • 2011 White House Easter Egg Roll

    First lady Michelle Obama watches a cooking demonstration by chef Jacques Pepin with Al Roker and Kelly Ripa at the White House Easter Egg Roll on the South Lawn of the White House on April 25, 2011 in Washington, DC.

  • 2011 White House Easter Egg Roll

    Juliana Bird (L), 6, and Rachel Mitchem, 7, of Springfield, Virginia, participate in the White House Easter Egg Roll on the South Lawn of the White House April 25, 2011 in Washington, DC.

  • 2010 White House Easter Egg Roll

    Canadian pop star Justin Bieber performs during the Easter Egg Roll on the South Lawn of the White House April 5, 2010 in Washington, DC.

  • 2011 White House Easter Egg Roll

    US President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama and daughter Malia (L) walk to the South Lawn for the annual Easter egg roll April 25, 2011 at the White House in Washington, DC.

  • 2010 White House Easter Egg Roll

    The Easter Bunny looks out from the Truman Balcony during the Annual Easter Egg Roll on April 5, 2010 on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, DC.

  • 2010 White House Easter Egg Roll

    One-year-old Macie Zehring from Rayford, North Carolina, carries an easter egg during the annual White House Easter Egg Roll hosted by US President Barack Obama on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, DC, April 5, 2010.

  • 1936 White House Easter Egg Roll

Lucky kids and parents who won tickets to the event through the online lottery will join the First Family, cabinet secretaries, members of the Harlem Globetrotters, "Good Morning America" anchor Robin Roberts and costumed friends like the Easter Bunny, Scooby Doo, Elmo, Spider Man and Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head.

Monday's performers will include Cody Simpson, Zendaya and Janelle Monae. Actors Julianne Moore, Bella Thorne and Forest Whitaker are among the actors scheduled to read books to kids at the event.

With any luck, Bo the First Dog will make an appearance as well.

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Filed by Arin Greenwood  |