Donald Trump's Easter Egg roll was very, very different to Barack Obama's – and not just because of smaller crowds

From differing attractions, performances, readings and organisational protocols, the two events were notably different occasions

Maya Oppenheim
Tuesday 18 April 2017 17:03
Trump addresses guests at the 139th Easter Egg Roll

In the same way that Donald Trump and Barack Obama’s inauguration concerts were starkly different affairs, their White House Easter egg rolls also had very little in common.

While Obama’s egg rolls were star-studded occasions, featuring the likes of Beyonce, Justin Bieber and Arianna Grande, President Trump’s event was centred around, well, himself. Asides from a relatively unknown Nashville family band called Martin Family Circus who drove to the event in an RV, the sole star attraction was the first family themselves.

The crowds gathered at Mr Trump’s egg roll, an event seen to be the single most high-profile occasion to take place at the White House each year, were also substantially smaller than at his predecessor’s event.

In the days leading up to the 139th event, the White House said it was expecting a crowd of 21,000 - about 14,000 fewer attendees than the final Obama egg roll hosted in 2016.

However, New York Daily News reported that the White House’s estimate seemed optimistic, with much of the South Lawn of the White House said to be empty throughout the morning of the roll.

Nevertheless, White House staff were insistent that the small crowds had in fact been intentional. Press Secretary, Sean Spicer, said some of the numbers – such as those of local students and military - matched those of previous years, but the Obama administration had also "ratcheted the number up.”

Stephanie Grisham, Melania Trump's communications director, said: "She wanted to get back to the tradition, so we're bringing back some traditional elements, like military bands, and focusing on the family itself”.

This year’s entertainment included military bands, Martin Family Circus, who reportedly played to a mostly empty lawn for much of the morning, and relatively under-the-radar boyband Bro4.

This is a notable contrast to Obama’s 2016 event which included a surprise visit from Beyoncé, Jay-Z and their daughter, Blue Ivy Carter and was attended by athletes from the NBA and Washington Redskins.

The readings at President Trump and President Obama’s easter egg rolls were also noticeably different. While Obama, an avid reader, relished in reading classics like Where the Wild Things Are during his tenure, Mr Trump delegated the task of reading to his wife Melania, Mr Spicer, and Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

First daughter Tiffany Trump was was also said to be reading later in the day, according to a tweet from her mother, Marla Maples.

"So proud of my beautiful daughter @TiffanyATrump she offered to read a story to the children today @WhiteHouse and will be sharing sweetness," Mr Trump's ex wife, Maples, said.

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The billionaire property developer’s easter egg roll, an event which dates back to 1876, was also said to be significantly less well-organised than his predecessor’s events.

Wooden egg manufacturer, Maine's Wells Wood Turning, was forced to cordially remind the White House of the ordering deadline via a tweet in late February.

"FYI manufacturing deadlines for the Easter eggs are near. Please reach out!" the account said.

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