President Barack Obama turned the White House into a huge playground Monday, welcoming 30,000 children and family members for the traditional Easter Egg Roll.
Obama, wife Michelle and daughters Malia and Sasha mingled with kids and their parents thronging the manicured gardens in the spring sunshine, in an all-day event which follows tradition dating back to 1878.
Black Eyed Peas singer Fergie belted out the US national anthem and the event also featured Reggae star Ziggy Marley.
"This is one of the greatest White House traditions because it reminds us that this is the people's house," Obama said as he opened the event, appearing beside a huge Easter Bunny on the White House balcony.
"To see so many children out here having a great time just fills Michelle and myself and the entire family with a whole lot of joy."
Hundreds of excited guests had earlier cheered the First Family when they emerged from the White House, after being serenaded by a marine band playing cartoon theme tunes and nursery rhymes.
With a whistle in his mouth, Obama personally officiated as young children took part in the egg roll down the White House lawn, then went on to give others basketball coaching on the mansion's private tennis court.
Later, the president read to another group of children from the book "Where the Wild Things Are."
"Our goal today is just to have fun. We want to focus on activity, healthy eating," Michelle Obama said.
"We've got yoga, we've got dancing, we've got storytelling, we've got Easter egg decorating. Oh, we've got basketball, a little soccer, as well."
The first White House Easter Egg Roll took place in 1878 when President Rutherford Hayes invited local children to roll eggs on the South Lawn.