First Family hosts trick-or-treaters Sunday night.
Marine One was wheels down at 4:51 p.m. POTUS, wearing brown slacks and a dark blue or black sportcoat, smiled and waved as he walked across the lawn toward the residence. He wished the cameras a “Happy Halloween” and was in the door at 4:53 p.m.
Stay tuned… the Obamas are expecting trick-or-treaters here tonight. The north lawn is covered in pumpkins and there are fake spiderwebs and bats hanging all over the North Portico.
POTUS made a brief, surprise visit to the press cabin on AF1 to wish reporters a Happy Halloween after the press pool held an informal costume contest. Your pooler was judged the winner with a homemade parakeet costume, made years ago for her daughter. By the time POTUS got wind of the short-lived contest, however, your pooler and other reporters had (smartly) changed back into street clothes.
POTUS did not stay long, about 90 seconds of chitchat on Halloween. He said Sasha was dressing up as a turkey (someone asked if he would pardon her – he said that was a good idea.) He didn’t know what Malia was wearing. He said the girls were going to friends’ homes to trick-or-treat and would then come back to the White House. He does not intend to dress up himself.
Network crews took video of the short visit, but there is no transcript.
AF1 landed at 4:24 p.m. POTUS on Marine One now, back to White House for real Halloween festivities.
The following information was provided by the White House about the Halloween festivities this evening:
This Halloween, President and Mrs. Obama in partnership with the National Park Foundation, will welcome local children to trick-or-treat at the North Portico of the White House, which will be lit orange for the occasion.
Children of our servicemen and women, and students have been invited to spend their Halloween at the People’s House.
The trick-or-treaters are from local schools in the Washington, D.C., Maryland, and Virginia areas; they range from 6 to 14 years-old.
District of Columbia Schools
Beers Elementary School
Houston Elementary School
Hyde Leadership Academy
Thomson Elementary School
Seaton Elementary School
Antietam Elementary School, Prince William County Nokesville Elementary School, Prince William County Belmont Station Elementary School, Loudon County Cameron Elementary School, Fairfax County Maryland Schools Concord Elementary School, Prince George’s County Gale-Bailey Elementary School, Charles County Gorman Crossing Elementary School, Howard County
The White House and the surrounding grounds will be decorated in celebration of Halloween. Performers will entertain trick-or-treaters as they enter the White House grounds and walk to the North Portico.
Among these decorations will be a display of pumpkins, gourds and mums constructed by The Great Pumpkin Patch, a family owned and run farm based in Arthur, IL. Veggy Art, a small-business owned by Chef James Parker and based in Chantilly, Va., will also provide decorative pumpkins and on-site carving demonstrations for the event. Halloween at the White House displays will be placed on the North Lawn to greet trick-or-treaters as they arrive.
As the trick-or-treaters make their way across the North Lawn to the North Portico they will be entertained by the following Halloween guests:
• Various characters including: Dracula, Frankenstein, the Bride of Frankenstein and Wolfman
• The Potholes Brass Band
• In costume actors, coordinated by the Helen Hayes Awards, to spook and delight trick-or-treaters
The following treats will be provided:
• A Box of White House M & Ms
• A White House Sweet Dough Butter Cookie Made by White House Pastry Chef Bill Yosses
• A Serving of Dried Fruit
Pool was led out to a riser in front of the North Portico
where a group of costumed characters are handing out small
goodie bags of treats. Looks like hundreds of costumed kids
filing by, with parents taking their pictures. There was a
band playing earlier- must be taking a break. Lots of
activity going on, a guy on a unicycle and everyone in
No sign of any Obamas yet. It looks like something going on
inside but no word from press office on what.
POTUS and FLOTUS came out about 6:45 p.m. and started
handing out candy bags. POTUS in grey sweater and slacks,
FLOTUS in shiny orange shirt and orange sweater, black
pants, hair slicked back and glittery mascara. No sign of
the girls. POTUS is smiling and wishing all happy Halloween,
complimenting the kids on their costumes, patting their
last bit of color of the evening:
Joining POTUS and FLOTUS in candy-handing-out-duty was First
Grandmother Marian Robinson. Costumed kids streamed under
the North Portico, where the Obamas worked to keep up
handing out bags of treats. At about 7:00 p.m. POTUS asked a
staffer if they were almost done, but a few kids came
running up the driveway to meet the president and get their
bags of treats. Some kids were wandering around, prompting
FLOTUS to call out “come on over here!”
At one point, FLOTUS yelled “run” to the last few kids
walking up the driveway. She looked at the cameras and joked
that this was good exercise to work off the Halloween
treats, holding up the bag in her hand. POTUS laughed and
called it the “Let’s Move method,” in reference to the First
Lady’s signature initiative against childhood obesity.
About 7:05 p.m. the president and first lady invited all the
families and their children to walk up the steps and into
the White House. The press office later said that all these
families were military. Both POTUS and FLOTUS shook hands,
posed for pictures, and spoke briefly with some of the kids
and their parents. Several times they had to help some very
small kids who were having trouble walking up the stairs.
When all the military families were inside, POTUS and FLOTUS
walked over to where the costumed entertainers had gathered
and thanked them, shaking their hands. Lots of cell phone
pictures and applause. One yelled out, “don’t forget to
vote!” The First Lady hugged several entertainers and
At 7:15 p.m. both POTUS and FLOTUS walked in through the
North Portico doors where the large group of military
families was waiting.
At 7:26 the press office called a full lid.