DELAWARE COUNTY, Ohio (WCMH) — The 2021 White House Easter Egg Roll will not take place in-person this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but you still have an opportunity to see a rare collection of the historic eggs from years past at the Delaware County Historical Society.
The society is home to one of the largest collections of White House Easter eggs on public display across the country.
Before the pandemic, every Easter, thousands of people would gather on the South Lawn of the White House as children race their wooden eggs in the annual White House Easter Egg Roll.
“President Rutherford B. Hayes and Lucy Webb were involved with the start of the Easter Egg Roll,” said Brent Carson, president emeritus of the Delaware County Historical Society.
The egg roll is a tradition dating back to the late 1800’s, and today, those lucky enough to attend the family-favorite event receive a souvenir to take home.
“Today, they give one wooden egg to a youth when they come on to the grounds,” Carson said.
In honor of President Hayes, a native of Delaware, Ohio, the Delaware County Historical Society has been collecting rare eggs surrounding Easter festivities at the White House over the last decade.
“We’ve got a Dolly Parton egg, we’ve got a bunch of the presidents including the Bushes, the Clintons,” said Donna Meyer, executive director of the Delaware County Historical Society.
Souvenir eggs first became an annual keepsake in 1981. President Ronald Reagan and his wife, Nancy, hosted a hunt for wooden eggs that were personally signed by famous celebrities.
“Like, this was signed by Billy Joel,” Carson said. “For a whole year, they were signing these eggs, putting them in baskets and then saving them for the Easter egg roll.”
The collection of over 200 eggs includes a variety of special items. From a rare “Buddy” egg only given to White House staffers by President Bill Clinton in honor of his dog, to beautiful glass eggs with the Secret Service and White House logos, the collection is on display year-round by appointment.
“They love it, people cannot believe we have such a wonderful, complete collection and the eggs are beautiful,” Meyer said.
As Easter approaches, the Delaware County Historical Society is offering the public a chance to “Adopt-An-Egg” from this rare collection.
“They get a certificate, they get documentation on what the egg is, who signed it, what it represents, and it lasts for a whole year,” Meyer said.
For more information on the “Adopt-An-Egg” program or to schedule a visit to see the collection, visit https://delawareohiohistory.org/