Hundreds of children gathered on the White House lawn on Monday for the annual Easter egg roll.
30-thousand children and their families converged on the South Lawn to participate in an annual tradition dating back 120 years.
The Marine band, seated in the shade of the South Portico, played, "The Easter Parade," instead of "Hail to the Chief" as the president entered.
Easter bunnies flanked him and waved to the kids.
Giant costumed Easter eggs, each wearing a bright Easter bonnet, danced near a display of Easter confections made by pastry chefs from around the country.
One showed an egg-shaped globe held aloft by two angels.
Another featured Socks, the White House cat.
After being introduced by the First Lady, the president expressed confidence that the roll would go smoothly.
"Are we ready to start the egg roll? Barney where is the whistle? This is the one thing every year I know no matter what else happens I will do right. I'm going to count three and blow the whistle, right? One, two, three ....."
SUPER CAPTION: Bill Clinton, U.S. President
The White House kitchen dyed 7,200 hard-boiled eggs for the egg roll, an Easter Monday event that dates to 1879 and the presidency of Rutherford B. Hayes.
The crowds began lining up way before dawn to get tickets for access to the lawn.
The main event involves a child aged three to six to take a large spoon and roll a hard-boiled egg across about 20 feet (6 metres) of lawn.
An additional two and a half thousand eggs were ready for children to colour themselves at the on the sprawling South Lawn and the adjoining Ellipse.
Some 25-thousand durable wooden keepsake eggs were ready for distribution to the guests, all aged from three to six years old.
No adults are allowed without such a child in tow
Each of the gift egg had the silhouette of the White House and the engraved signatures of the president and first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton on them.
This year, in an innovation unimaginable to Rutherford and Lucy Hayes, the egg roll, story-telling by celebrities and Clinton's welcoming remarks were being cybercast over the Internet.
The Clintons celebrated their own Easter holiday Sunday at Camp David, the presidential retreat in western Maryland.
There, the president watched the Masters golf tournament on television and received thanks from world leaders for his help in brokering a Northern Ireland peace agreement.