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Obamas host White House Easter Egg Roll

President Barack Obama and his familyofficially opened the annual Easter Egg Roll Monday, cheering on alarge throng of children lined up for fun and games on the SouthLawn of the White House.

Obama and his wife, Michelle, appeared along with daughtersMalia and Sasha and Vice President Joe Biden and his wife, Jill, ona balcony overlooking the grassy are where hundreds of kidsscurried for positioning for the much-sought-after egg-rollingcompetition.

- Click here to see photos of the White House Easter Egg Roll

The president initially could only wave to the crowd, thanks tononworking microphones. He looked around for help, and finally thesound system started working.

Arrayed in front of the Obamas and Bidens was a large crowd ofkids bundled up against the early-spring chill.

Obama greeted the crowd, extolling the event as one that"reminds us that this is the people's house."

Obama said his job was to introduce the first lady to the crowd-- and Mrs. Obama said that "our goal today is just to have fun. Wewant to focus on activity, healthy eating ... We've got Easter Eggdecorating, we've got basketball, we've got soccer ... We wanteverybody to think about moving their bodies."

Music star Fergie sang the National Anthem after the presidentspoke.

The White House allotted tickets for the event to gay andlesbian parents as part of the administration's effort to reach outto diverse communities. For the first time, it distributed ticketsover the Internet, rather than requiring interested participants tostand in line for hours to get in.

The administration alsodistributed tickets to large numbers of schoolchildren in theDistrict of Columbia and in neighboring Maryland and Virginia.

- Click here to see photos of the White House Easter Egg Roll


- Photos: Easter celebrated on LI

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- Photos: Classic Easter hats from yesteryear

- Photos: Slick LI hats, Easter and otherwise


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