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Thousands of Children Join White House Easter Egg Roll

April 1, 1991

WASHINGTON (AP) _ Thousands of youngsters converged on the White House today for the annual Easter Egg roll, undaunted that their host, George Bush, had skipped town for a Florida vacation.

Vice President Dan Quayle stepped in to serve as the official starter for several rounds of competition.

″You know what you’re gonna’ do?″ Quayle asked a row of children poised to whack colored eggs down their lanes. ″At the sound of the whistle, roll that Easter egg.″

There were no losers. Each child got a painted wooden egg that said ″A Family Easter at the White House.″

Some youngsters came in white gloves, dainty bonnets and Easter finery while others opted for sweatshirts and athletic shoes - and many came armed with baskets to cart off their booty.

First to arrive at the White House gates for the event was 6-year-old Jose Prats, whose family started the line 5:45 a.m. for the 10 a.m. kickoff.

″I can do it with my nose,″ Jose boasted of his egg-roll strategy.

Martha and Benito Prats and their four children drove 2 1/2 hours from Unionville, Pa., to attend the egg roll.

″We come every year. We even have Bush on videotape saying ’Hi, Martha,″ Benito Prats reported.

Puppeteer Shari Lewis and Lamb Chop were on hand to entertain the crowd. The children also could enjoy story tellers, clowns, bands, face painting and egg hunts.

This year’s egg roll highlighted literacy. Each child received a book bag containing cookies, raisins, books and magazines.

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