WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Rain clouds auspiciously parted, A-list guests including the Easter Bunny and Beyonce were on hand and first dogs Sunny and Bo obliged for selfies as U.S. President Barack Obama celebrated his final Easter egg roll at the White House on Monday.
Obama and first lady Michelle Obama hosted 35,000 guests on the South Lawn for the 138th annual event, which Obama said was one of his favorite fixtures on the calendar.
“You guys brought the sun out, so we appreciate that so much,” Obama joked to attendees as showers were replaced by sun.
Standing on the White House balcony, the president and first lady welcomed the crowd before heading down to the lawn for games, reading, and sports.
“This is always one of our favorite events of the year. It’s so much fun,” he said, thanking volunteers and the Marine band.
This year’s guest list included singer Idina Menzel, who performed the national anthem and tweeted that the White House was “by far the best vocalizing spot,” singer Beyonce, her husband Jay-Z and 4-year-old daughter Blue Ivy and retired National Basketball Association player Shaquille O‘Neal.
After greeting families and snapping some pictures at the mainstage egg roll, the Obamas headed over to the “Story Time” stage, where the president performed a dramatic reading of bedtime favorite “Where the Wild Things Are,” complete with growling, clawing, and a break into the “wild rumpus.”
Afterwards, Obama headed down to the courts to watch Jr. NBA attendees shoot hoops and to play doubles tennis with other guests.
The upbeat mood did not extend to the Secret Service, which said it arrested a woman at the event because she was trying to move a temporary security barrier.
Obama leaves office next year after two terms as president. His successor will be elected on Nov. 8.
Reporting by Alana Wise; Editing by Cynthia Osterman