Why does the White House have so many Easter Bunny costumes?
Even though Easter was a few days ago, people are still talking about the White House Easter Bunnies.
Each year, the expressions on the bunny faces provide perfect material for memes about the president of the day.
How did the tradition of the White House Easter Bunny come about?
In 1981 John Schenz owned a costume design shop in Cincinnati, Ohio. Schenz received a call from DC with a request to make a bunny costume for a 6-foot-3 Secret Service agent to wear to a White House Easter event alongside former President Ronald Reagan, Schenz told WCPO 9 News.
After the event, he donated the costume to the park service. The following year, he attended the White House Easter Egg Roll and was appalled at the state of the costume. He called the office to complain about the costume and in turn received another call asking him to provide two Easter bunnies next year for the presidential event.
And the tradition continues every year.
Which US Presidents Have Hosted Easter Bunnies?
The White House Easter Egg Roll event is held annually and has been sponsored by former Presidents Reagan, George HW Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, Barack Obama, Donald Trump and now President Joe Biden.
There are now several bunnies – Papa, Mama and Junior – who provide photo opportunities and guest interaction at the event each year.
Who’s in the White House Easter Bunny costumes?
Some presidents prefer to have Secret Service agents in the suit, while others are comfortable with staffers and trainees.
There are two notable characters who have donned bunny ears. The first was Ursula Meese, wife of Attorney General Edward Meese during the Reagan administration.
The second was former Trump press secretary Sean Spicer, who wore the suit in 2008 at George W. Bush’s Easter event, The Wrap reported.
“Presidents come and presidents go, but rabbits stay,” Schenz would often say, according to the Cincinnati Enquirer.
Why are Easter Bunny costumes important?
It’s a silly tradition, but one that presidential families and event guests look forward to every year and brings a certain levity to a venue of such gravity.
Friends of Schenz continued to supply the costumes for the event after Schenz passed away in 2020 from a lung disease.
“One of the things he wanted to see was for the Easter bunnies to keep going to the White House, and we promised we would as long as the White House let us,” said one. Schenz’s friend to BuzzFeed News.