No Tricks, Big Treat: a White House Halloween

Filed under: Holidays, In The News

white house halloween picture

Marian Robinson, from left, the mother of first lady, President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama hand out Halloween treats as they welcome children to trick-or-treat at the White House. Credit: Manuel Balce Ceneta, AP

WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama and his wife, Michelle, handed out Halloween treats to area children and military families at the White House Sunday evening.

Local students between 6 and 14 years old, along with children from military families, were invited to celebrate Halloween on the North Lawn.

The president and first lady, along with Mrs. Obama's mother, Marian Robinson, spent about 30 minutes passing out goodie bags. Obama wished each child a happy Halloween as he distributed the treats, pausing occasionally for hugs or to comment on costumes.

Later, the military families continued the celebration inside the White House.

The first couple joked to assembled reporters about children walking the long driveway in order to work off the snacks.

"This is the Let's Move method of trick-or-treating," Obama said, referring to Mrs. Obama's campaign to combat childhood obesity.

The goodie bags contained a box of White House M&Ms, a cookie made by pastry chef Bill Yosses, and dried fruit.

As they made their way across the lawn, the children meet a vast range of costumed characters ranging from a spooky Frankenstein to the Scarecrow from "The Wizard of Oz." Music from a jazz band dressed in pirate gear rang out across the White House grounds.

Multicolored pumpkins and gourds lined the driveway - individually, in gravity-defying stacks and as part of a large mound over 5 feet tall. Pumpkin-headed scarecrows made of cornstalks loomed over the path with menacingly raised arms. Under the White House portico, a mobile resembling bats flying through clouds fluttered around a lantern.

Some of the local trick-or-treaters were students at Bancroft Elementary, which helps tend the first lady's White House garden, and Tubman Elementary, which has a relationship with the White House chefs.

After trick-or-treating ended, the Obamas stood near the front door, welcoming the military families inside, helping children climb the short flight of steps and thanking parents for their service.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. The information contained in the AP news report may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or otherwise distributed without the prior written authority of The Associated Press. All active hyperlinks have been inserted by AOL. This article was written by NATASHA T. METZLER, AP Writer.

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Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.