WASHINGTON (AP) — President Obama and his wife Michelle have kicked off a sun-splashed Easter Egg Roll at the White House, with thousands of kids and their parents thronging the South Lawn.

The president says his family’s thrilled to have so many guests on a sunny Easter Monday. Appearing with him and daughters Malia and Sasha under the South Portico, Mrs. Obama said she hoped all the visitors had comfortable shoes on.

The annual event, which dates back to 1878 when Rutherford B. Hayes was president, features traditional egg-rolling races — as well as obstacle courses, book-readings, musical performances and sports from basketball to tennis. There’s even a yoga garden. Officials expect some 30,000 kids and their parents to take part.

WATCH ANDREA MITCHELL’S COVERAGE OF THE EASTER EGG ROLL HERE:
[MSNBCMSN video=”http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/32545640″ w=”592″ h=”346″ launch_id=”46995362″ id=”msnbc7830fc”]

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Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.