The White House has cancelled the annual Easter Egg Roll event over concerns about the coronavirus pandemic.
The holiday event has taken place in the White House South Lawn for 140 years.
“The health and safety of all Americans must be the first priority, especially right now,” First Lady Melania Trump said in a statement on Monday.
The springtime favorite event of DC children was scheduled to take place on April 13.
“I deeply regret this cancellation, but we need to make difficult decisions in the short-term to ensure a healthy country for the long-term. During this time, I encourage everyone to listen to state and local officials, and follow CDC guidelines in order to help protect the health and well-being of everyone,” the first lady’s statement continued.
The egg roll tradition began on April 22, 1878 after President Rutherford B. Hayes agreed to open the White House grounds on Easter Monday to children who wanted to roll Easter eggs.
The festivities were completely stopped from 1942-1952, first due to World War II, then a food shortage, then the South Lawn becoming a construction zone from 1948-1952.